To bring more perspective to the recent cold snap, average temperatures in North Carolina for the past week have been more in line with those usually experienced in Maine in early December.
At Somerset Court, an assisted living facility in Hamlet, the recent cold snap led to a water pipe bursting.
Somerset Administrator Kyoko Bruton said a water pipe froze and burst Wednesday morning, displacing the residents of three rooms.
“We had several of our other residents offer to share their rooms, so we moved them to the other side of the building,” Bruton said.
Residents should be back in their own rooms by Christmas.
Cold is also prompting shopping decisions.
Belk manager Robin Hutchinson said winter outer-wear is selling the way it would in January.
“You don’t know about the weather,” Hutchinson said.
She said among scarves, mittens, hats and other outer-wear, it’s the boots that are selling the best this year.
“I don’t know if it’s a fashion thing this year, but the boots are going quick,” Hutchinson said.
“I’ve been pleased with the traffic we’ve had this year,” said Terry Greene, the manager of JC Penney.
According to Greene, gloves are heavily sought after.
“Gloves are a last minute item,” Greene said. “It’s something people don’t think to get until they need them. They make great gifts, too.”
Another hot item at JCPenney are wool coats for men and women, and Greene said his sales have been brisk.
Looking ahead, after a brief period of near normal temperatures over the weekend, the deep freeze will return early next week. Forecasts are for temperatures early in the week that are even colder than the latest bitter cold spell this week.
The average temperature for the week ending Dec. 10 was the coldest on record at RDU where an average temperature of 32.6 degrees was recorded. This was nearly 14 degrees below normal for the week at RDU.
At the Greensboro airport, the average temperature for the week ending Dec. 10 was the coldest on record with an average of 30.9 degrees. That was around 12 degrees below normal for the week at GSO.
On Dec. 6 and 7, both RDU and GSO set record low maximum temperatures each day meaning those afternoons were the coldest on record. GSO tied its record low temperature of 17 degrees the morning of Dec. 9.
Temperatures are forecasted to fall into the single digits and lower teens Monday through Wednesday with afternoon highs struggling to warm to above freezing each day. The driving force behind all the cold weather is a strong and persistent low pressure system over Greenland and Nova Scotia which has been locked into place driving Arctic air south across much of the country.