By James M. Arnold, Weather Specialist
Region – The cold shot that will arrive later this afternoon will bring severe conditions to our area, but will only last about 24 hours before moderation is noticeable. However, during that time, conditions will be dangerous to be outside without having taken the appropriate protective measures.
Below is the latest statement from the National Weather Service forecast office in Taunton:
Wind chill warning remains in effect from 5 p.m. this afternoon to 10 am EST Thursday…
* Locations…include the eastern slopes of the Berkshires and the Worcester hills of Massachusetts.
* Hazard types…dangerously cold wind chill values.
* Wind chill readings…as low as 30 below.
* Timing…late today into Thursday morning.
* Impacts…dangerously cold wind chills will result in frostbite or hypothermia if precautions are not taken.
* Winds…northwest 5 to 15 mph with gusts up to 35 mph.
* Temperatures…minimum readings of 5 to 15 degrees below zero by Thursday morning. (actual temperature readings, not windchill values)
A wind chill warning is issued when the wind chill index is likely to fall to -25 degrees or colder for at least 3 hours. A wind chill index below -30 can bring about frostbite in as little as 10 minutes. Outdoor exposure should be limited. If you are heading outdoors…dress in layers and keep your hands and head covered to protect against frostbite.
Watching the current pattern for a potential “near miss” from a coastal storm about Monday and a likely close pass from a much stronger system about next weekend. All the while it will remain at or colder than long term averages, with a possible brief pullback of cold conditions about the middle of next week. More on this later.
James M. Arnold is a Weather Specialist working with Shrewsbury Emergency Management Agency; town of Princeton; Worcester Emergency Communications and Emergency Management Agency; Southborough Emergency Management Agency; town of Grafton and Wachusett Mountain Ski Area