Better get bundled up

WARREN – With more arctic air blasting through the Mahoning Valley and threatening to affect an upcoming Groundhog Day and a frigid Super Bowl to the east, weather experts issued warnings that by Monday and Tuesday, the area will see temperatures 15 to 30 degrees below average, right during the climatologically coldest time of year.

The experts and firefighters were providing some safety tips and Dominion East Ohio was asking customers to conserve during the extremely cold weather.

Daily record lows are possible Tuesday morning in Detroit, Dayton, and Pittsburgh, according to national forecasts. The daily record cold will spread to the Deep South, while lingering in the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley Wednesday morning, possibly including Mobile, Ala. and Lake Charles, La. Wind chills will be dangerously low at times early Monday and Tuesday.

Locally, the snow was tapering off to about an inch today with 16 mph winds and a high of 19 degrees and a low of 17 degrees. Snowfall will diminish through the cold snap.

Monday, a high of 15 and low of minus-10 is expected with winds stronger than 21 mph. Tuesday’s low is expected to reach minus-15 with a high of only 5 degrees. Wednesday, a high of 9 is expected with a low of minus-2.

Dominion East Ohio, meanwhile, issued a plea for conservation.

To help customers keep down their bills during the ongoing extreme cold, Dominion is asking all customers voluntarily to turn down their thermostats and lower the setting on their water heaters if they can do so safely, and for businesses to reduce the use of natural gas for manufacturing or processing, if practicable. Such conservation efforts through Wednesday will help keep down bills and keep natural gas supplies flowing to all Dominion customers.

“Dominion was able to serve its customers reliably during the extreme cold earlier this month, in part, because many customers took steps to conserve their natural gas use,” said Scott Miller, Dominion East Ohio vice president and general manager. “Dominion anticipates being able to provide reliable service again for the upcoming cold weather, but we also ask customers to conserve where they can do so safely.”

The company recommends that customers consider using other conservation techniques to maintain comfort and safety, such as saving energy by weather-stripping homes and insulating doors and windows. Customers also can block off drafts at the bottoms of doors with a rolled-up throw rug or towel. More conservations suggestions can be found at

Firefighters also were reminding homeowners to never heat homes with a gas oven and make sure carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are working properly.

Other tips include having a fire safety escape plan for your home and having chimneys and wood-burning stoves cleaned and inspected yearly. Never leave fires unattended.

Space heaters should remain between one and three feet away from people, pets and objects and heaters should be turned down or off before going to sleep.