A brutal gust of dangerously cold winds is expected to sweep across the Northeast and New England on Friday, prompting authorities to close schools and activate emergency plans as the region braces for record-breaking sub-zero temperatures.
In much of the region, frigid air, down to minus 35 degrees Celsius, will combine with gusty winds, a terrifying double whammy that could bring frostbite in as little as 10 minutes in some areas.
“Temperatures in most regions will likely see their highest daytime temperatures before sunrise as temperatures dip throughout this Friday. High winds will bring dangerously cold temperatures, with the peak of the cold in the northeast occurring later this Friday through Saturday morning,” CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward said.
The severe cold has put more than 15 million people in the region under wind chill warnings or advisories. Wind chill indicates how cold the air may feel, and the weather service issues these advisories when winds are expected to be as cold as minus 31 degrees Celsius.
The cold snap is expected to start to abate on Sunday, when temperatures are likely to rise again. Meanwhile, the authorities of several states have begun to ask residents to stay at home and have increased reception centers to accommodate those most vulnerable to the cold.
Schools in Buffalo (New York) and at least three districts in Massachusetts decided to cancel classes this Friday as a precautionary measure for the safety of students and staff. The city of Boston is also in a cold emergency situation from this Friday until Sunday.
“With the extreme weather conditions and many of our students commuting to and from school, walking and waiting for public transportation in the open air, we have made the decision to close for the day,” said Boston Public Schools Superintendent Mary Skipper, in a statement.