Break out the hot chocolate! Bring pets – and yourself too – inside.
Monday night will be the coldest night so far this winter, with low temperatures in the high teens, according to the National Weather Service.
“It will be chilly – about 17 or 18 degrees,” said Hunter Coleman, a National Weather Service meteorologist at the Columbia Metropolitan Airport.
Wind chill Monday night will be even colder. With expected winds of up to six miles per hour, the temperature will feel like “the single digits” – five to 10 degrees, Coleman said.
Nightly freezing temperatures are expected to continue into this weekend, he said.
“Wednesday night will be the warmest night, when the lows are expected to be in lower 20s – slightly warmer than the next two nights,” Coleman said. “Then there will be a secondary shot of cold air coming down on Thursday, and the lows will get back into the teens again on Thursday and Friday night.”
It’s rare for the Midlands to have such a prolonged spell of sub-freezing nightly temperatures, Coleman said.
Normally, central South Carolina gets brief cold snaps of one or two nights at a time when the mercury plummets below 32 degrees, he said.
Nighttime temperatures have been below normal since Christmas Day and in the 20s since Friday, he said. The average high this time of year is 56, and the average low is 33.
“We’re running about 15-20 degrees below normal,” Coleman said.
Although there’s a chance of snow on Wednesday night, the chances are slight because the cold air masses over the Columbia area don’t have much moisture, he said.
But the weather systems in play are dynamic and that could change, Coleman said. “It definitely bears watching to see how things develop.”