Winter arrives just in time for Christmas

MOTHER NATURE’S GIFT to the area was a white Christmas. The first measurable snow fell on Sunday, Dec. 24. As the community prepares to welcome in a new year, the National Weather Service is reporting the area will be hit with a blast of extreme cold temperatures.

     It’s official, winter has arrived.
    The first measurable snow of the season blanketed the ground with about 2 inches of fluffy white powder and it came just time to provide the area with a white Christmas.
    The snow started falling before the sun came up on Dec. 24 and it continued throughout the day. The official snow total recorded by the Grundy County Emergency Management Agency was 2 inches, although some areas saw a little more.
    Knowing winter weather was on its way, local village’s and their respective public works departments have been prepared for Mother Nature for several weeks.
    “We’re ready for winter. We have a good supply of (road) salt and the trucks are ready to go when the snow flies,” Coal City village administrator Matt Fritz said.
    Additional snow fall is expected as the community heads into the New Year’s weekend.
    While local municipalities have the ability to handle the snow, the one thing they can’t help with is extreme cold temperatures that are slated to blow in this week.
    On Tuesday morning the National Weather Service issued a hazardous weather outlook warning of excessive cold for 18 Illinois counties including Grundy and Will.
    The weather service reports the area can expect to experience dangerously cold wind chills that dip below zero. The cold air will warm a bit later in the week and then dip again with highs only in the teens for the weekend with lows falling below zero.
    According to the weather service the best way to survive the cold days ahead are to be prepared.
    A few tips include adjusting schedules to avoid being outdoors during the coldest parts of the day, maintaining at least a half a tank of gas in vehicles, dress appropriately for the outdoors and maintain a winter survival kit for each vehicle that includes items like jumper cables, a flash light, water, shovel, ice scraper, blankets, car charger, basic