The new year was ushered in by Old Man Winter, kicking off a week of bitter cold temperatures.
Revelers shivered as they celebrated New Year’s Eve, and the frigid weather continued into New Year’s Day on Monday.
The National Weather Service in Raleigh issued a hazardous weather outlook Monday morning, warning that temperatures would remain below freezing until Wednesday afternoon, when the high is forecast to range from the mid-30s to near 40 degrees.
Overnight lows are forecast to feel colder than 10 degrees over the next few days due to the windchill factor.
According to the NWS forecast for Rockingham, temps will stay below 40 degrees until Sunday.
Warming shelters were open across the South as freeze watches and warnings blanketed the region, including hard freeze warnings for much of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
Emergency management officials urged people to take precautions against the cold temperatures, reminding them to bring pets inside, to protect exposed pipes and to be vigilant when using electric space heaters.
College football fans from the University of Central Florida and Auburn University braved temperatures hovering around 20 degrees Monday morning to tailgate before the Peach Bowl.
The National Weather Service predicted temperatures in the low 20s with wind chills dipping into single digits Monday night in New Orleans, where the University of Alabama was set to face Clemson University in the Sugar Bowl semifinal.
Light rain and mist and temperatures below freezing caused an icy mess in the North Carolina mountains on New Year’s Eve. Traffic on Interstates 26 and 40 came to a standstill for several hours Sunday after wrecks and heavy holiday traffic made it harder to treat the slick spots. Some New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day celebrations were cancelled due to dangerous travel conditions.
There is also a chance of snow in the state later this week — but a bit further east.
Forecasters say a storm could bring up to 4 inches of snow to areas east of Interstate 95 near the coast on Wednesday, with the bulk of it likely in places further inland like Jacksonville and New Bern.
The Weather Service says any changes in the track of the storm would change the amount of snow. No advisories have been issued and forecasters ask people to frequently check the weather.