As We’ve All Heard by Now It’s Gonna Be Brutally Cold Tomorrow

by Prince Of Petworth January 6, 2014 at 3:15 pm 36 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user number7cloud

As Chief Lanier reminded us last time it got frigid:

“Please be on the look out for the elderly, others that may not have heat, those that do not have a roof over their heads, and our pets. If you know a neighbor without heat or if you run across a homeless person and they need assistance please call our hypothermia hotline at (202) 399-7093 or 1 (800) 535-7252 to get them the needed aid. Also, please don’t forget to bring all of your pets indoors.”

Also anyone from cold climes have advice on preventing pipes from freezing?

And in lighter news:

“Vortex Vodka! In honor of the tomorrow’s polar vortex, Russian eatery Mari Vanna [1141 Connecticut Avenue, NW] will be offerings all patrons one complimentary shot of vodka tomorrow [Tuesday Jan. 7th] anytime before 7pm. Tomorrow’s DC weather is expected to be the coldest we’ve seen in 20 years. Diners can warm up with an array of house-infused vodka flavors, from seaberry to horseradish and pineapple to cucumber dill.”

  • Anonymous

    Call me crazy, but I’m looking forward to this.

    • Anonymous


      • Anonymous

        I guess I just like extreme weather. ;)

      • Comrade

        I’m looking forward to this too. Why? I’m Russian :)

    • Anon

      You’re crazy

      • Anonymous

        Probably… and I have a 25-minute walk to work which should be fun!

  • fz

    I have the federal government closes so I don’t die of hypothermia while waiting for the bus.

    • fz

      *hope not have

    • Anonymous

      DC Public Schools have already announced they are open tomorrow. Seems unlikely the feds will close.

  • Anonymous

    PW County schools are closing because of the cold.

  • dcspring

    Please also make sure to check your carbon monoxide (CO) detectors are working–and that your neighbors’ are, too! With cold weather the risk of exposure will rise as temperatures fall. Its a colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas and its called the silent killer as it is nearly impossible to detect without monitoring equipment. CO alarms are inexpensive and can be purchased at hardware stores. If your neighbors don’t have one, consider purchasing one for them if you are able. Our alarm recently alerted us to unsafe levels which turned out to be coming from the row home next door; their levels were toxic but not having a detector meant they had no idea there was even an issue. It was caught just in time! Stay safe, neighbors!

  • andy2

    Cover your skin and layer up you’ll be fine!
    When I served in the Peace Corps in Ukraine it was -40C (also the same as -40F) for a week and I survived. My apartment didn’t ever get above 45F and was about 40 at night. Our cold snap will last a day, unlike months of this in that place they call Minnesota…relax folks.

    Also – totally recommend the medicinal shot or two of vodka before you go to bed. Warms you up, puts you to sleep and fights off the flu!

    • Anonymous

      I actually think the worst part of that is the 45 degree apartment! Had that in India too. Being cold outdoors is tolerable if you have a warm home to return to!

    • Maria

      -40 in ukraine? Thats nuts, the coldest i have seen is -24 C in Kiev. Speaking of which, its christmas today and its like 32 F right now, horrible!

      • andy2

        Yep Maria, it was the winter of 2006 – absolutely frigid for weeks.
        I’m glad its only 32F right now – makes it easier on the protesters!
        З Різдвом! Христос народився!

  • Anonymous

    my weather app says it’s gonna get to 19. sorry folks, but that’s not brutally cold. I wouldn’t worry about your pipes freezing either… unless you are stealing your neighbor’s water through a garden hose you leave outside on the ground. Wednesday will be warmer. If we had a week solid of 19 then you might have to start thinking about pipes.

    • Anonymous

      19 will be the high for a few short hours in the afternoon. The single digit lows, and -20 wind chills, are pretty brutal.

      • Anonymous

        Right. The time of day when the most people are out and about (morning commute) will be 8 degrees with -10 windchill.

        • AMDCer

          I wouldn’t think that wind chill would effect pipes, mainly the ground temp.

    • Anonymous

      A mere 24 hours of the temps we are expecting will absolutely freeze an uninsulated hose bib if it doesn’t see sun during the day. Trust me, I know from experience! If you have shut off valves upstream from your outdoor faucets, use ’em tonight.

      • John B.

        At these temperatures, pipes can and will freeze. I saw it happen twice to my next door neighbor several years ago, back when we used to get lows like this more regularly. The most vulnerable points are exterior spigots; they will (or should) have a shut-off valve somewhere inside the house, usually in the basement. This should be closed, hoses or anything else detached and the exterior spigot left open (so it can drain properly). Pipes in poorly insulated exterior walls or running through unheated or uninsulated crawl spaces can also freeze (been there, done that!). If you know you have pipes prone to freezing and can’t shut off the water at a valve somewhere before that point, you can leave water dripping overnight–as long as it’s moving it (probably) won’t freeze.

  • Anon85

    I’ve been seeing a range of 8-19 degrees tomorrow and thinking, “Oh, I guess the cold snap is mostly bypassing DC.” Now I’m reading that the low temp record at BWI and Dulles is 8. I’m living farther south than I realized. Wow!

  • gotryit

    The guy who used to live across the street from me burst a pipe by the hose spigot in front of his house two years in a row. I don’t live there anymore, but I kind of want to go by there to see if he’s going for round 3…

    So yeah, drain your hose lines when it’s going to be below freezing. Especially down in the single digits.

  • I think I’m about to experience the coldest weather I’ve ever had :/

  • Anonymous

    So if you have one of those spigot covers you should be ok right?

  • Anonymous

    If you have neighbors that leave their dog(s) outside all the time, they need to take them inside. Usually leaving a dog outside all the time is not considered cruel and inhumane, but when it’s this cold it is.

    • Anonymous

      Leaving a dog outside in any weather is cruel and inhumane PERIOD.

      • Anonymous

        Even partly cloudy and warm, in the mid ’70s?

  • KC

    Has anyone ever called the hypothermia hotline? I’m wondering how to handle homeless people who may not be able to care for themselves, or may be unresponsive or hostile if I try to talk to them. Will the hotline send someone by who has experience with this kind of situation?

    • Anonymous

      Yep. The cold-weather team has its own vans. They can transport people to shelters, or hand out blankets and hot drinks to those people who are unwilling to move.

    • Allison

      I call the hotline all the time. Usually they just ask where the person is located, and say they’ll send a van out right away, whether or not you’ve spoken to the person.

  • brookland_rez

    If you haven’t done so already, make sure the pipe that goes to your outside faucets is turned off. There’s usually shutoff valves in your basement.

  • Shivering Southerner

    Ugh! I don’t have gloves for this. Or boots. And my warmest hat is the opposite of professional attire. Glad it won’t last long. If this is now, what’s February going to be like?

    • Dan

      Balmy. As in 60F.

      • Anonymous

        Remember a couple years ago when we had a week of 80-degree weather in early March?

    • Anonymous

      I’ve lived here, or further north, my whole life and don’t have winter boots, or a hat/hood/anything to cover my ears. I only had to be outside for 20 minutes this morning, though, so it wasn’t too bad.


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