Weather Update From the National Weather Service in Mobile
- Residual moisture on the roadways will re-freeze tonight even over southern areas, creating areas of dangerous black ice.
- A Hard Freeze Warning is in effect with low temperatures tonight forecast to range from the mid teens to around 20 degrees over most locations.
- These cold temperatures when combined with a period of light northerly winds will create wind chill values around 10 degrees for a few hours early Thursday morning. A Wind Chill Advisory is in effect tonight into early Thursday morning.
- Temperatures are expected to rise above freezing by around 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 18 with afternoon highs reaching in the lower to mid 40s.
All Escambia County bridges that were closed due to ice are now open.
- Potential bridge closures this evening are difficult to anticipate, but law enforcement will continue to monitor bridge conditions and make determinations based on public safety.
- To check real-time road and bridge closures in Escambia County 24/7, click here. For city of Pensacola road and bridge closures, click here.
Driving Safety Tips
Beware of “black ice.” On asphalt or dark-colored roads, this ice appears black making it difficult to see. When driving, following these tips:
- Keep at least a eight to 10 seconds following distance from the vehicle in front of you
- Don't hit the brakes to avoid a skid. Hold your steering wheel as steady as you can.
- Use extra caution when on our many bridges and overpasses. Bridges freeze before roads.
- Avoid over-correcting your steering if you start to slide or skid.
- If you can wait until it warms up and morning traffic slows down, do so.
Escambia County Offices
Offices listed below will reopen Thursday, Jan. 18 at their normal times. All employees should report to work as scheduled.
- Escambia County Board of County Commissioners (all departments)
- Escambia County Property Appraiser
- Escambia County Tax Collector
- Escambia County Area Transit administrative offices
- ECAT bus, ECCT and trolley services
- Escambia County Supervisor of Elections office
- Escambia County Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller's office
- Escambia County Animal Shelter
- First Judicial Circuit
- West Florida Public Libraries (all locations)
Naval Air Station Pensacola: Both gates to Naval Air Station Pensacola are open. NAS will resume normal operations tomorrow. All employees should report to work at their regularly-scheduled time. All facilities will be open.
Emerald Coast Utilities Authority: Customer Service Center open at 9 a.m. on Thursday morning, January 18. In Escambia County, solid waste collections scheduled for today will be collected on Thursday due to the closure of the Perdido Landfill. Collections scheduled for Thursday and Friday will also be delayed by one day, to Friday and Saturday, respectively. There are no schedule changes for collections in Santa Rosa County. All of the ECUA water and water reclamation plants and functions continue to operate under normal conditions.
The following schools will resume regular schedules on Thursday, Jan. 18:
- Escambia County District schools, outside activities for district schools are canceled Thursday.
- Santa Rosa County District schools, outside activities for district schools are canceled Thursday.
- Pensacola State College
- University of West Florida
Cold Weather Safety
Citizens are also urged to remember the five P's of cold weather safety:
- Protect People: Remember to dress in layers and wear a hat and gloves. It is important to try to stay out of the wind and to stay dry. Also, remember to check on young children and the older family and neighbors who are the most sensitive to cold weather. If the temperature cannot be maintained at a home, make temporary arrangements to stay elsewhere, including with friends and family.
- Protect Pets: Be sure to bring outdoor pets inside or give them a warm shelter to stay in.
- Protect Plants: Cover cold sensitive plants to protect them from the dangerous temperatures.
- Protect Pipes: Cover pipes and allow outdoor faucets to slowly drip to prevent from freezing and breaking.
- Practice Fire Safety: Use safe heating sources indoors. Do not use fuel-burning devices such as grills; they release carbon monoxide, which is a deadly gas. Also, make sure to use space heaters according to their instructions and be attentive to open flames. Space heaters need space!
For more information, monitor the local media and legitimate online and social media sources like Escambia County Emergency Management, US National Weather Service Mobile and Florida SERT.