The week started with freezing temperatures. And it will end like that too.
Wind chills as low as minus 20 from Friday night to Saturday are forecast for the Worcester area. The actual reading is expected to drop to minus 1, according to the National Weather Service.
Worcester experienced bitter temperatures Monday through Tuesday, when the reading dropped to 2 degrees, according to the Weather Service. At one point, the wind chill hit 13 below zero.
Between the chills, the weather in Worcester has been relatively pleasant. The thermometer hit 32 degrees on Wednesday and topped 40 on Thursday, according to the NWS.
Worcester could see snow early Friday afternoon, with strong wind later in the day.
Due to the freezing cold, the city will open two buildings for people in need of a place to warm up:
- Worcester Public Library, 3 Salem Square: 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday
- YWCA, 1 Salem Square: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Saturday will be sunny but chilly, with temperatures in the teenage range mixed with gusts of up to 25 mph, according to NWS.
Cape Town and the islands could see strong gusts on Friday evening, with some reaching 60 mph.
Cold weather safety tips
- Cut back on outdoor activities for the whole family, including pets.
- Dress in several layers of loose, light clothing instead of a single heavy layer. Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent. Wear a hat, mittens (not gloves), and sturdy waterproof boots to protect your arms, legs, hands, and feet.
- Cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.
- Follow the recommended safety precautions when using radiators, a fireplace, or a wood stove to heat your home. Keep a fire extinguisher handy.
- Make sure backup generators or secondary heating systems are well ventilated.
- If you lose heating, move into a separate room. At night, cover windows and exterior doors with extra blankets or sheets.
- Wrap the pipes in insulation or layers of plastic-covered newspaper to prevent them from freezing. Let a stream of hot water run from a faucet to keep water flowing through your pipes.
- If your pipes do freeze, fully open all faucets, remove any insulation and heat the frozen pipe with a hair dryer or wrap it with towels soaked in hot water. Never use an open flame to thaw pipes.
- Be a good neighbor. Check the condition of your family, friends and neighbors, especially the elderly, those who live alone, those with health problems and those who may need additional help.