Note: This story was updated at 7:12 p.m.
The temperature in Oak Ridge is expected to drop to 7 degree Fahrenheit Wednesday night, and Oak Ridge Schools will be on a two-hour delay on Thursday morning because of the cold weather.
The high on Thursday is forecast at 25 in Oak Ridge, and it’s expected to climb to 34 on Friday, when President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Biden’s wife Jill visit Pellissippi State Community College in west Knox County and Techmer PM in Clinton.
Anderson County Schools announced on Tuesday that its buses will be running two hours late on Thursday, January 8, due to extreme cold weather.
“Schools will open at regular time on Thursday, and teachers and staff members will be working their regular schedules…parents may drop their child(ren) off at school at their regular school time,” the announcement said. “Students who ride a bus will be picked up at their individual bus stop two hours later than normal. (Example: If a student is usually picked up at 7:05 a.m., on Thursday they will be picked up at their regular bus stop at 9:05 a.m.)
The National Weather Service in Morristown said the lowest wind chills will be today and tonight. Wind chills will drop to between -5 and -20 degrees across the higher elevations and to between 0 and -10 elsewhere. Exposed pipes might freeze, and the cold weather poses a threat to outdoor pets and livestock, forecasters said.
Residents can prepare by dressing appropriately, especially children waiting for the school bus; covering or insulating exposed pipes; providing shelter for livestock and pets, or brining them indoors; and checking on the elderly or those without sufficient heat.
The Weather Service said an arctic air mass is on the way, currently building south through the Upper Midwest and Northern Plains. The leading edge of the colder air was moving into the region Wednesday afternoon with strengthening winds in the chilly air.
Stronger winds in the higher terrain combined with frigid temperatures will produce wind chill readings several degrees below zero.
In the higher terrain areas of Southwest Virginia and the mountains of Eastern Tennessee, a wind chill warning is in effect this afternoon through mid-morning Thursday.
The lows tonight will be well below normal in the single digits but below zero in the higher elevations.