Bundle up! Birmingham is going to be very cold on New Year Eve night and this week

Birmingham

Birmingham

Got plans to be outside at 11:59 p.m. tonight on New Year’s Eve?

According to the Weather Channel,  Birmingham will be a bone chilling 22 degrees (and with the windchill it will feel like 11 degrees).

The National Weather Service has issued a Hard Freeze Watch and  Winter Advisory from Sunday morning till Wednesday. Morning temps are expected to stay in the teens for most of the week.

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Graphic from the National Weather Service

The National Weather Service Birmingham’s Facebook page is one of the best sites to receive the latest weather updates in this region.

Tips to stay warm on New Year’s Eve
Bundle up and drink water

When you are out and about on New Year’s Eve remember the 6 keys to keeping safe and warm include:

Layer up. Stay hydrated. Cover head. Protect skin. Wear proper footwear. Watch footing.

Of course, since folks are likely to be drinking on New Year’s Eve, dehydration becomes a concern.  Drinking alcohol does dehydrate you.  Food and Wine Magazine published a great article on this topic last summer that also applies in the winter, titled: What’s the least dehydrating alcohol.

Bottomline from the article, drink water along with your beer  and champagne tonight.

Protect your pipes

Before you go out tonight, take the following steps to protect your water pipes.

The danger of water pipes freezing and possibly bursting in homes is greatest when the outside temperature is about twenty degrees. Since the National Weather Service expects temps in the Magic City hover between 14-18 degrees each morning this week, here are some actions recommended by the Institute for Business and Home Safety you need to take to keep your pipes safe:

  • Insulate all accessible pipes using pipe insulation (this can be found at your local hardware store).
  • Prior to the winter months, ensure that all cracks, holes, and other openings on the exterior walls are sealed tightly with caulk or insulation to prevent cold air from penetrating the wall cavity.
  • Disconnect all hoses from hose bibs and install insulating covers over the hose bibs.

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  • Keep all exterior entry, exit and garage doors to unheated spaces closed as much as possible during the winter months.
  • If the temperature drops lower than usual and any pipes are located adjacent to exterior walls or within base cabinets or in closets, leave the cabinet/closet doors open or use a fan to increase warm air circulation around the pipes.
  • When extreme cold weather is predicted, let all faucets drip to prevent freezing of the water inside the pipe, and if freezing does occur, to relieve pressure buildup in the pipes between the ice blockage and the faucet. The pressure buildup is the actual cause of bursting pipes.
  • Shut off the water supply during periods when the home may be unoccupied, particularly when colder weather is expected.
  • Be sure to drain your water supply system before leaving the home unoccupied.

Stay safe and bundle up tonight. And take some time today to protect your home for the hard freeze we will be experiencing this week.

Author: Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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