In many parts of the northern U.S., it's really cold. Here's how to stay safe
Updated February 3, 2023 at 9:53 AM ET
The "six more weeks of winter" predicted on Groundhog Day are kicking off with quite the cold spell. For many parts of the northern United States, this weekend's weather includes temperatures in the single digits and wind chills expected to dip into the negatives.
Tips for how to stay safe in the cold
As the National Weather Service warns:
Arctic air, together with brisk winds, can lead to dangerously cold wind chill values. People exposed to extreme cold are susceptible tofrostbitein a matter of minutes. Areas most prone to frostbite are uncovered skin and the extremities, such as hands and feet.
Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia, and check on neighbors, friends and family members who live alone:
If your temperature is 96°F or less, you feel cold and sluggish, or are having trouble thinking clearly, see your doctor immediately or go to the nearest emergency room.
Go to the bathroom frequently. A full bladder will make you a lot colder. But don’t avoid drinking so you don’t have to pee—ya gotta stay hydrated, too.— Blair Braverman (@BlairBraverman) December 2, 2020
And if you have to be outside for any length of time, "dress like an onion, so it's all about layers," Clare Arentzen, an Appalachian Mountain Club guide in New Hampshire's White Mountains, told NPR's Life Kit.
The National Weather Service urges anyone who must be outside to cover all exposed skin and stay out of the wind whenever possible.
The National Weather Service has issued wind chill warnings for most of the northeast U.S. and northeast Minnesota, as well as a wind chill advisory across many parts of the northern United States.
The following are local resources and information by state:
Connecticut, Maine, Massachussetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Wisconsin
The National Weather Service (NWS) said wind chills in Litchfield County could drop to as low as 25 to 30 degrees below zero. Hartford, Tolland and Windham counties could see wind chills as low as 30 degrees below zero.
In addition to the wickedly cold weather, Maine's northernmost counties are also under a blizzard warning through Saturday.
As Maine Public's Patty Wight explains:
The Maine Emergency Management Agency is urging Mainers to prepare for the extreme cold weather that will sweep into the state Friday. MEMA's Vanessa Corson says wind chills will plunge temperatures into the negative 30s and 40s.
Coming off of a top-five warmest January for all southern New England climate sites, including Boston, the intense cold set to move into the region will certainly be a shock for many of us. In fact, this may be the coldest air we've seen in seven years.
As MPR News' Paul Huttner reported, parts of Minnesota were expecting Thursday night to be the coldest night so far this winter, with a subzero air mass through Friday.
A Groundhog Day arctic front is pumping in another subzero Canadian air mass. Temperatures will crash into the minus 10s in southern Minnesota with minus 20s to minus 30s up north.
And for when it's safe to go outside again,check out Winter Play, MPR's series celebrating the best of the winter season.
The region's highest peak, New Hampshire's Mount Washington, is expected to reach record-breaking lows, anywhere from -45 to -50 degrees Fahrenheit.
AsNew Hampshire Public Radio explains:
Organizations across New Hampshire are making plans for emergency shelters and soliciting donations to help those experiencing homelessness.
— For resources in NYC, click through to Gothamist.
— For Nassau and Suffolk counties, click through to WSHU.
— Resources for unhoused populations in Monroe County from WXXI.
—Closings, delays and cancellations in the North Country from NCPR.
—For statewide resources, click through to New York state's website.
As reporter Cheryl Hatch explains,
With record cold temperatures expected in the next few days, Newport city officials and local organizations are opening a temporary overnight shelter to house people through the weekend.
As Vermont Publicreports:
From Thursday night heading into the weekend, temperatures will drop to roughly 0 degrees or below around much of Vermont. Places like Rutland, St. Johnsbury, and Newport are expected to feel windchill approaching the negative 40s.
This story was updated to include resources from Massachusetts and Rhode Island and updates from across the Northeastern U.S.
NPR's Emily Alfin Johnson curated this reporting from across the NPR Network. contributed to this story
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