February 11 2016

NWS Warns of 'Potentially Life Threatening' Wind Chill and Near Record Cold

By: Rich Hosford

Bundle up and make sure the pets are inside this weekend, it’s going to get cold. 


The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a wind chill watch that will run from Saturday afternoon through Sunday afternoon. All of Massachusetts is under the watch except for Cape Cod and the Islands. Connecticut and Rhode Island are also under the watch. 


According to the NWS the temperatures could reach “life threatening” lows. The standing temperatures for Saturday and Sunday are expected to be 18 and 10 degrees respectively with a low of -7 Saturday night into Sunday morning. However, during this time the wind chill readings could get to 15 to 25 below with some areas potentially reaching 30 below zero. 


"Temperatures Saturday night into Sunday morning will fall to near record cold values," the NWS states. 


The wind is expected to blow northwest at 15 to 25 miles per hour with gusts as high as 35 mph. 


Aside from being dangerous to anyone outside, temperatures this cold can cause problems in the house and some methods of keeping things warm can be safety hazards. Here are some tips from the American Red Cross on how to keep safe and some things to remember: 


1. Layer up! Wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm. Gloves and a hat will help prevent losing your body heat.


2. Don’t forget your furry friends. Bring pets indoors. If they can’t come inside, make sure they have enough shelter to keep them warm and that they can get to unfrozen water.


3. Remember the three feet rule. If you are using a space heater, place it on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable at least three feet away – things such as paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs.


4. Requires supervision – Turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are out before leaving the room or going to bed.


5. Don’t catch fire! If you are using a fireplace, use a glass or metal fire screen large enough to catch sparks and rolling logs.


6. Protect your pipes. Run water, even at a trickle, to help prevent your pipes from freezing. Open the kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals out of the reach of children. Keep the garage doors closed if there are water lines in the garage.


7. Better safe than sorry. Keep the thermostat at the same temperature day and night. Your heating bill may be a little higher, but you could avoid a more costly repair job if your pipes freeze and burst.


8. The kitchen is for cooking. Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.


9. Use generators outside. Never operate a generator inside the home, including in the basement or garage.


10. Knowledge is power. Don’t hook a generator up to the home’s wiring. The safest thing to do is to connect the equipment you want to power directly to the outlets on the generator.


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