Very cold weather heading for Charleston tonight

The sun rises over the Folly Beach pier Wednesday morning.

Brace yourself for some cold weather in the Charleston area tonight.

Today's forecast calls for sunny skies, with a high near 56 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

But the thermometer will drop to around 20 degrees tonight, and a blustery north wind with gusts up to 32 mph will make the temperature seem closer to 9 degrees, according to the Weather Service. A wind chill advisory is in effect from 2 a.m. to 11 a.m. Thursday.

It will be a night to bring pets and plants indoors and take precautions against freezing pipes.

For those without a warm place to stay, the Charleston County Sheriff's Office will open beds at its work camp facility on Leeds Avenue from 4 p.m. Wednesday though 4 p.m. Saturday.

CARTA will offer free bus service to the shelter from 6 to 11 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Buses can be boarded for the shelter at Meeting and Columbus, Meeting and Lee, across from TriCounty Family Ministries at 3349 Rivers Ave. and near the Goodwill at 6607 Rivers Ave. More information on bus schedules is at 724-7420.

The outlook for Thursday is for sunshine and a high near 37, but a north wind could make it seem closer to 7 degrees. The overnight low should be around 26 degrees.

Friday should be mostly sunny, with a high near 50 and an overnight low around 31.

Looking ahead to the weekend, Saturday should be partly sunny, with a high near 50 and an overnight low around 35.

Clouds move into the area Sunday, with a high near 54 and a 40 percent chance of rain both during the day and overnight.

Reach Dave Munday at 937-5553.