The hot topic this week has to be the weather.  Much of North Carolina is under a winter storm warning as snow, sleet and freezing rain are expected to impact the state this afternoon and overnight.  As with most winter storms, forecasters have a hard time predicting where and when the largest impact will be and in this case who will see snow and who will see ice.  One thing is for certain, it will be cold tonight and throughout the rest of the work week with lows expected to reach the single digits.  Most likely any precipitation that falls today and tomorrow will freeze once it hits the ground, so be safe.  We all remember the stranded vehicles on the roadways last year.  If you don’t need to be out, stay home.  If the weather or road conditions turn for the worse as quickly as they did in last year’s storm, stay put.

We also need to remember to check on elderly neighbors and make sure they have everything they need to stay warm.  Power outages are common when 1/4″ of freezing rain accummulates, so make sure your pets are safe and you have emergency supplies at home.  Last year I posted tips to stay warm if you suffer a power outage.  The main thing to remember is to have plenty of blankets and drinking water for everyone in the family and to gather the family in one room to allow body heat to help keep everyone warm.

Also, take the time today to check around the house.  Make sure all windows and doors are sealed to keep the cold out.  Make sure all water hoses are disconnected from outside water faucets to prevent freezing.  And finally, make sure your water lines are protected from the cold.  We don’t want to see a repeat of the frozen pipes we saw last year.

Make sure to tune into your local news stations for the latest updates on the weather.