published Monday, January 6th, 2014

Wind chill as low as -25° expected in some areas of Chattanooga region tonight

CLOSINGS AND DELAYS

Due to weather related safety concerns, Hamilton County Schools will open for staff at 10 a.m. Tuesday, January 7. This includes central office, school administrators, faculty and staff. Teachers will report to their assigned professional development sites at 10 a.m. Maintenance employees will report at their regular time and School Aged Child Care will open on its regular schedule.

Whitfield County Schools will be closed for students on Tuesday, Jan. 7, due to the weather. Staff members will report at 8 a.m. on Tuesday for a professional learning day.

All Walker County Government Offices will be closed Tuesday, January 7, because of subzero wind chill. All polling precincts will be open for voters participating in the District 2 House Race.

The Hamilton County Criminal Courts will be closed on Monday.

The Hamilton County General Sessions Courts, both civil and criminal, will be closed on Monday.

North Georgia Health District and county health departments delay opening until 10 a.m. Monday.

All campuses of Georgia Northwestern Technical College will be closed today due to weather conditions. All classes are canceled.

UTC will be delayed until 10 a.m. today.

Whitfield and Polk County schools will be closed Monday with forecasts calling for inclement weather.

Hamilton County Schools had been set to be closed for students on Monday, but it was stated the closing includes central office, school administrators, school age child care and all faculty and staff. All extra-curricular activities are also cancelled. Maintenance employees will report to work at regular times Monday.

Whitfield County Schools staff will not report to work on Monday. Until further notice, students and staff of Whitfield County Schools are still scheduled to return on Tuesday.

Walker, Dade, Grundy, Catoosa and Murray County, Ga., schools also will be closed on Monday and Tuesday.

Erlanger Health System physician offices will open at 10 a.m. Monday, January 6, due to road and weather conditions. All five of Erlanger's Emergency Departments - at the main campus downtown, Children's Hospital, Erlanger North, Erlanger East and Erlanger Bledsoe remain open for emergency care.

The Hunter Museum of American Art will be closed Monday.

Memorial Hospital spokeswoman Lisa McCluskey announced some weather-delays on Monday.

The Chattanooga Heart Institute will delay opening until 10 a.m. at all locations.

Cardiac rehabilitation will open at 10 a.m. at all locations.

Memorial New Associate Orientation is canceled for Jan. 6, 2014

Endoscopy and Surgery at Memorial Hospital and Memorial Hospital Hixson will be open as scheduled on Jan. 6, 2014.

Memorial Wound Center is open as scheduled on Jan. 6, 2014.

The Inclement Weather Policy is in effect as of 9 p.m. Sunday. Associates are expected to report to work as scheduled. Associates may call their leader for questions.

Weather officials say the wind chill this morning stands at about 10 degrees and cold temperatures will continue downward through the day to a bone-chilling 5 or 6 degrees by morning.

The most dangerous problem will be the wind chill, National Weather Service forecaster Alex Gibbs said this morning.

“Temperatures that you have right now are only going to decrease during the day so we're expecting temperatures by sunset across most of the area to be around 10 degrees,” Gibbs said.

He said valley areas around Chattanooga could be between 10 and 14 degrees and as low as 9 degrees in higher elevations by 6 p.m.

“Overnight tonight we're expecting temperatures to drop even more. Overnight lows should be about 6 in Chattanooga and it looks like middle single digits across the area,” he said.

The forecast calls for many areas to experience sustained winds of 20 to 25 mph with gusts up to 40 mph, but winds “should be dying down through the night tonight,” he said.

“The big thing is going to be the wind chill,” he said.

Valley areas could have wind chill values as low as 10 to 15 degrees below zero and higher elevations and the plateau region as low as 25 below, he said.

The Associated Press reports the National Weather Service forecast called for plunging temperatures, with a high in Nashville reaching only 7 degrees by this morning. Swaths of western Tennessee were preparing for several inches of snow.

The National Weather Service said the arctic air was expected to remain through Tuesday.

Areas west of the plateau were expected to get 1 to 2 inches of snow while the upper Cumberland region and plateau could get 2 to 4 inches. Snowfall in West Tennessee was expected to be between 1 and 4 inches while much of East Tennessee was expected to see 1 to 3 inches.

The weather was also taking its toll in airports across Tennessee. Flights to and from both Memphis and Nashville were either delayed or cancelled as the cold blast struck Chicago and cities like Detroit prepared for the weather.

The record low in Nashville is 17 degrees below zero -- Jan. 21, 1985, when six inches of snow covered the ground.

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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