Cold on its way

Published 8:21 pm Monday, January 5, 2015

Folks are advised to brace themselves and take precautions as the coldest temperatures of the season so far extend their icy tentacles into Suffolk later this week.

After originating in Canada’s northern regions, an Arctic cold front that’s been making its way south will arrive in the area Tuesday night.

“It’s going to maintain those cold temperatures as it goes south — there will be a very strong cold front moving through the area,” said Dan Proch, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Wakefield.

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From a high of 48 degrees on Tuesday, temperatures will drop to 30 overnight, rise to a high of 38 on Wednesday, then plummet to 15 Wednesday night, according to predictions.

Thursday would bring sunny conditions, but a high of just 27.

Wind chill will make it even more frigid, Proch said, with effective temperatures in the lower single-digits Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

“Wind chill will be anywhere from zero to 5 degrees, with temperature in the low- to mid-teens, and winds 15 to 20 miles per hour,” he said.

Children would be waiting for the school bus in those conditions. “Make sure your kids are bundled up — especially warm headwear covering their ears,” Proch said.

“Gloves will be pretty important — you don’t want to have your hands exposed. (And) make sure your kids have enough warm clothes to wear at school.”

Plants should be brought inside, if possible, or have a blanket thrown over them at least, Proch advised gardeners.

Folks also should drip faucets to prevent pipes from freezing.

Proch noted the cold snap is sure to feel even colder after seasonable weather so far this winter, following some lower temperatures in late November.

He also noted the 48-degree temperature difference between Sunday’s 75 and Thursday’s predicted high of 27.

“It’s a big swing,” Proch said. “Usually we get swings similar to that once or twice a year.”

For the weekend, Proch said Saturday is forecast to warm up to 40 to 45 after the low 20s overnight Friday. Sunday would see highs approaching 50 after a low of about 30.

“If you’re not a fan of extreme cold, you don’t have to put up with it for too long,” he said. “(But) it will definitely be a shock to the system.”

If any snow falls at all this week, it won’t be enough to stick, Proch added.