CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The New Year is off to a frigid start in the Carolinas as temperatures dropped beneath freezing and are expected to remain there.

As of Tuesday morning, Charlotte was below freezing for over 48 consecutive hours, which was the longest streak since February 2015.

First Warn Storm Team's Larry Sprinkle encouraged students heading back to school Tuesday after winter break to bundle up as he said freezing temperatures felt even colder than they actually were. Sprinkle said those waking in the Charlotte area Tuesday morning are facing temperatures that feel like 4 degrees.

Multiple school districts were operating on a two-hour delay Tuesday due to the bitter cold. Click here for a list of closings & delays.

There's not much relief in sight from the winter weather.

“There's a disturbance off the coast of Florida that's going to migrate up the east coast and actually may provide some wintery weather to the eastern part of North and South Carolina,” Sprinkle said. “Snow showers are possible, a couple inches maybe, along the Outer Banks.”


"Very tight gradients for the snow to nothing along I-95 with ice closer to the coast mixed in," Chief Meteorologist Brad Panovich said.

Panovich said a winter storm watch is expected to be issued along the Carolina coast for Wednesday and overnight into early Thursday morning.

While snow isn't being forecasted in Charlotte and surrounding areas, the bitter cold is expected to remain. Sprinkle said while the normal high at this time of year is in the 50s, Tuesday will see a high in the mid-30s.