Bundle up if you go outside today. Expect a chilly day with temperatures holding in the teens and lower 20s. A few snow showers are possible this morning as a weak cold front moves through. Ocean effect snow showers are also possible along the Outer Cape. pic.twitter.com/3Ka54hGO03
— NWS Boston (@NWSBoston) January 11, 2022
WORCESTER — Worcester schools are closed Tuesday due to extreme cold, with low temperatures and high winds bringing a bitter blast to the region.
In addition, the city's COVID-19 testing center at Mercantile Center downtown will also be closed Tuesday. The center, typically with long lines outdoors, will reopen Wednesday.
Temps are expected to continue to fall for the first half of the week, along with a wind chill in Worcester that could make it feel like minus 8 Tuesday. At daybreak Tuesday, the temperature in Worcester was at 6 degrees.
Superintendent Maureen Binienda confirmed schools, Head Start, and all before- and after-school activities and programs will be canceled to keep students safe from the forecasted freezing temperatures Tuesday.
"COVID regulations state that school bus windows must remain open which, Tuesday, could possibly add to frostbite for the students," Binienda said.
She said that increased cases of COVID-19 involving transportation personnel contributed to the cancellation.
"There's an increase of COVID with transportation personnel, which could result with running buses up to 30 minutes late," Binienda said. "Therefore, we always worry about the safety of our students and our staff and so the focus has to be on their safety. So we decided to have no school."
Worcester is among many school systems in the commonwealth to cancel school for Tuesday. Others include Leicester, Boston, Springfield and Lowell. In Auburn and the Quaboag Regional School District, school will start two hours later than usual on Tuesday.
After a tolerable day Monday, with a high temperature in the mid-20s, the mercury reading is expected to drop to the single digits overnight Monday into Tuesday, and Tuesday into Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.
The daytime temp for Tuesday will be consistently low, topping out at 10 degrees, the weather service said.
The wind chill could drop to 8 below. It will be colder in communities north of Worcester with Fitchburg possibly seeing a low reading of minus 11, according to NWS.
Monday and Wednesday will see heavy wind at times with gusts in the 20 mph range.
Daytime temps for the remainder of the week should be in the 30s, with nighttime readings in the 20s, according to the NWS.
Cold weather safety tips
Reduce outdoor activities for the whole family including pets.
Dress in several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight 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 recommended safety precautions when using space heaters, a fireplace or a woodstove to heat your home. Keep a fire extinguisher handy.
Make sure emergency generators or secondary heating systems are well ventilated.
If you lose heating, move into a single room. At night, cover windows and external doors with extra blankets or sheets.
Wrap pipes in insulation or layers of newspapers covered in plastic to prevent them from freezing. Let a trickle of warm water run from a faucet to keep water moving through your pipes.
If your pipes freeze, open all faucets all the way, remove any insulation and heat the frozen pipe with a hair dryer or wrap with towels soaked in hot water. Never use an open flame to thaw pipes.
Be a good neighbor. Check on family, friends and neighbors, especially the elderly, those who live alone, those with medical conditions, and those who may need extra help.
— City of Worcester (@TweetWorcester) January 10, 2022
This article originally appeared on Telegram & Gazette: How low will it go? Cold snap about to hit Worcester region, says National Weather Service