CULLMAN — The coldest air of the season is coming in this weekend and lows are expected to reach the teens in some places.
National Weather Service meteorologist Robert Boyd said the biggest problem through the weekend will be the snow turning to ice.
“Right now, our biggest worry is the freezing snow turning to ice and it causing travel problems,” Boyd said.
He said the high’s through the weekend will be mid to upper 20’s and the low’s will be in the teens.
“Snow flurries could continue and the over night lows could be as low as 10 degrees,” he said. “It will be pretty chilly through the weekend.”
Boyd said when the cold arctic air comes down, it usually lingers.
“The cold air from the arctic likes to stay,” he said.
This prolonged cold may set a new record for the state. The NWS said wind chill temperatures across Northern and Central Alabama are expected to fall below zero Friday morning.
Phyllis Little, Cullman Emergency Management Agency director, said people should take precautions during this cold snap.
“We know everything that’s on the ground now is not going anywhere,” she said. “Keep in mind, it will be cold through the weekend and is not expected to go above freezing.”
Little advised everyone to stay at home if at all possible.
“If you can delay until at least the morning, do it,” she said. “It will at least give things time to thaw. We are looking at the worst coming in this weekend with below freezing temperatures staying around.”
As of Thursday afternoon, Little said roads were already beginning to freeze, with problems reported on Highway 278 East and West.
“Whatever is on the ground will be with us for several days” she said. “The next few days will be brutal.”
Icy road conditions are believed to have played a role in causing a single-car rollover that sent one woman to the hospital with minor injuries, according to Cullman Fire and Rescue workers at the scene.
The accident occurred on Eva Road around 4:45 p.m. and left the driver of Isuzu Trooper overturned in a ravine about half a mile north of Cullman High School. There were no other passengers reported to have been inside the vehicle.
American Ambulance Service transported the driver to Cullman Regional Medical Center, according to reports. No further information was available by deadline of this article.
Little said there are some things to remember during the freezing temperatures.
“Dress in loose layers, it is better than wearing tight fitting clothing,” Little said. “Leave water running and check on neighbors, especially older folks.”
Little reminded people to watch their step because much of the ground will be icy.
Many roads and offices are closed or are opening at a later time due to the weather.
Offices at the City of Cullman will open at 10 a.m. today, unless weather conditions warrant a longer delay.
Cullman Street Department Superintendent said Rick Henry and Kelly Allen with the Cullman County Emergency Management said there are several roads closing including: The bridge at Larkwood by the spillway, the hill and bridge at Carroll Acres on Briarwood Dr. between Brown Dr. and Timberlane, the hill on Childhaven Rd. from the top of the hill just North of Mitchell Rd to the access points at both forks (on Main Ave. at 13th Street, Northeast and on 2nd Way at 2nd Ave. and 14th St. Northeast), the East end of Mitchell Rd at the entrance onto the hill on Childhaven Rd, and the hill on Woodland St. from Highway 31 to just East of Edgewood Dr.
The Cullman County Democratic Party has canceled it’s Saturday breakfast.
Wallace State Community College, Cullman county and city school systems will be closed today because of the winter weather. They are expected to re-open Monday.
More closings and cancellations will be posted on CullmanTimes.com as they are announced. To report a closure, e-mail email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org or call The Times at 256-734-2131.
* Ben Bullard contributed to this report.
* Tiffany Green can be reached by e-mail at email@example.com or by telephone at 734-2131, ext. 220.