Alabama's Nate Oats tells ESPN's Scott Van Pelt: People 'gotta toughen up' for winter storm

Daniella Medina
The Tuscaloosa News

While most of Alabama woke up Tuesday morning to "unprecedented" freezing temperatures and wind-chill factors in the single digits, Alabama men's basketball head coach Nate Oats said he would be just OK in his crimson short-sleeve polo shirt. 

During Oats' appearance on SportsCenter on Monday night, ESPN's Scott Van Pelt asked the Crimson Tide coach if people in Tuscaloosa would be able to make it through a night with temperatures below 32 degrees. 

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"The people down here gotta toughen up a little bit with the weather," Oats said. "It's not nearly as bad as they think it is."

Oats, a Wisconsin native, shared his experience as a Green Bay Packers fan going to football games at Lambeau Field in short sleeves.

"I think it was like 28 [degrees] when I walked in to do this interview," Oats said. "People act like it's the frozen tundra."

Throughout Alabama, temperatures reached as low as 15 degrees with a feels-like temperature of 4 degrees early Tuesday morning said National Weather Service meteorologist Chris Darden, who is based in Birmingham. Snow totals were mostly in the quarter- to half-inch range. 

"Just remember this too shall pass," Darden said. "It's not like in Texas, where they've been locked down for 48 hours, with widespread reports of power outages. 

Tuscaloosa weather updates:Schools cancel classes due to freezing conditions; low temps continue Tuesday

In Texas, a winter storm warning is in effect through Thursday as winter precipitation is forecast to continue falling into Wednesday. More than 4 million homes and businesses have been left without power Tuesday. 

The Alabama men's basketball team was scheduled to make the trip to College Station, Texas, for a matchup against Texas A&M on Wednesday, but the game was postponed to Thursday at 2 p.m. CT due to the winter weather hitting the state.

Following Oats remarks about the weather in Alabama, SVP gave a nod to the folks down south dealing with a winter storm like never before. 

"This is not something that they, and certainly folks in Texas, have ever dealt with," SVP said. "So we hope the folks in College Station and everybody in Texas stays safe and the heat comes back on and you guys can get there safe for your game on Thursday, Coach." 

Daniella Medina is a digital producer for the USA TODAY Network. Follow her on Twitter @danimedinanews.