CHARLESTON, W.Va. — West Virginians won’t be getting a break from cold temperatures and snow for a while, but some experts say there are a few steps people can take to weather the winter storm.
Meteorologists expect temperatures to plummet Thursday with a high of 7 degrees and a low of minus 9 degrees. Although Wednesday’s temperatures didn’t break any records, Thursday’s temperatures are expected to do so.
“The record for Thursday is 4 degrees, so our high is going to be close to the record low,” said Andrew Beavers, meteorologist with the National Weather Service.
Beavers explained there is a cold front pushing down on the area, bringing a second blast of cold air from the Arctic. He said the area can expect more snow and sleet but probably not much more than an inch. He said temperatures will get above freezing around Saturday.
“Wearing layers is important right now and one thing people may not take into account is staying hydrated,” he said. “Also, don’t be outside for extended periods of time.”
Many people from heating and cooling places in Putnam and Kanawha counties said they have been swamped with phone calls the last week. Brett Kelley, field supervisor and service manager at Teays Valley Service Experts: Heating & Air Conditioning, said in the last week, the business’ call volume has more than doubled.
“It’s been a little busy because of the weather,” Kelley said. “It’s like people running to the grocery store when it snows. Sometimes, people panic but people do have more issues with heating and cooling. Any time the weather gets cold, the systems are running longer and it puts more strain on the units. There is an increased chance with older units, especially because it’s testing everything to the limit.”
Most of the issues he has seen are failing motors on gas furnaces and issues with heat pumps.
“In the next day or two, if it really gets that cold, we will get a lot of phone calls on heat pumps not keeping up … The best way I tell it to customers is if it gets down in the negatives, it’s almost like an air conditioner running in 100 degree temperatures in the summertime…