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Cold Winter Weather Continues


If you liked last week’s frigid weather, you’re going to love what Mother Nature has in store this week for northwest Florida and south Alabama.

Meteorologist Steve Miller, at the National Weather Service in Mobile, says the cold is back after a brief warm-up over the weekend, thanks to a pair of upper-level systems: one along the U.S. and Canadian border, and the other moving through the Great Plains pushing a very cold air mass ahead of them. Highs are expected not to climb out of the 40s, while lows could approach 20 degrees.

Many of Gulf Power Company’s more than 430,000 customers likely will see the impact of the double shot of cold weather in their upcoming electric bills. But the utility says a few in-house adjustments and planning can go a long way towards softening the blow. Among them: turning down the thermostat to 68 degrees and leaving it there.

Other tips: wrap up in an extra sweater and other clothing, along with an extra blanket on the bed, to keep from being tempted to adjust the thermostat. With temperatures in the 20s, the heater likely will run more even when it’s set at 68 degrees -- but not as much as when it’s set higher.

Make sure vents and return-air registers are not blocked by furniture, draperies, doors or other obstacles. And among the various “do’s” is one “don’t” – do not use your oven to heat your home — it’s very costly and very dangerous.

In case the numbers on the power bill are out of kilter with your budget, Gulf has a number of programs to help out, that are listed at gulf-power.com.

As of Friday, Gulf Power Company had not received a request from utilities in the northeastern U-S for assistance in restoring power to areas blasted by Winter Storm Hercules.