Frigid, bitter cold weather is expected in Central Pennsylvania into the weekend, and weather experts are warning residents to avoid being outside for lengthy periods if possible. In fact, a cold arctic air mass is gripping much of the Eastern two-thirds of the U.S. today. The arctic air, together with brisk winds, can lead to dangerously cold wind chill values.
This afternoon’s 18 degrees feels like 5°F, for example. Tonight’s low of around 5°, coupled with north winds of around 6 miles per hour, will bring a very frigid wind chill effect comparable to minus-zero F. Locally, it will bring the coldest weather to the area in about 2-3 years. Learn more about how to protect yourself and pets from the cold at weather.gov/safety/cold.
So stay in, make sure your heating system is working properly and check on vulnerable family, friends and neighbors. It’s downright frigid out there today and will get worse tonight and over the weekend.
If you must venture outdoors, dress in layers, the National Weather Service advises. Cover exposed skin to reduce your risk of frostbite or hypothermia. Try to seek shelter from the wind as much as possible while outside. Once inside again, change into dry clothing immediately if you are wet. Understand and watch for frostbite and hypothermia.
The NWS forecast for the weekend and next week:
- This Afternoon: Sunny, with a high near 23. North wind around 8 mph.
- Tonight: Clear, with a low around 5. North wind around 6 mph becoming calm after midnight.
- Saturday: Sunny, with a high near 27. Calm wind becoming southwest around 5 mph in the afternoon.
- Saturday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 15. South wind around 5 mph becoming calm after midnight.
- Sunday: Mostly cloudy, with a high near 31. Light southwest wind becoming west 5 to 9 mph in the morning.
- Sunday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 12.
- Monday: Partly sunny, with a high near 32.
- Monday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 25.
- Tuesday: A chance of snow showers before 1 p.m., then a chance of rain and snow showers. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 39. Chance of precipitation is 50%.
- Tuesday Night: A chance of snow showers before 1 a.m. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 17. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
- Wednesday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 26.
- Wednesday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 8.
- Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 27.