BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - The coldest weather yet of winter has invaded Alabama, with temperatures plunging into the single digits before dawn Thursday in Birmingham, Huntsville, Decatur and Muscle Shoals.
Among the coldest spots was Haleyville, where it was 4 degrees at 5 a.m. Thursday.
Utilities from the Tennessee Valley to southeast Alabama are asking residents to cut back on non-essential use of electricity because heaters are working extra hard, and dozens of school systems are opening later than normal Thursday because of frigid temperatures.
Cities large and small have opened warming stations to help people get out of the cold. Meanwhile, officials in Orange Beach are warning property owners about the threat of freezing pipes in sprinkler systems.
The National Weather Service says temperatures in much of north Alabama won't rise above freezing until Friday.