Piercing cold to threaten frozen pipes, frostbite in northeastern US

courtney.travis

The frigid air unleashed by the polar vortex in the Midwest will expand into the Northeast this week, bringing the coldest air for the region thus far in 2019.

The bitterly cold air will follow on the heels of a wave of snow sweeping through the Northeast.

Temperatures will begin to plummet from the Ohio Valley to the interior Northeast on Tuesday and Tuesday night, then in coastal areas on Wednesday.

"A large mass of Arctic air will move into the region by Wednesday and bring well below-normal temperatures that will stick around into Friday," AccuWeather Meteorologist Brett Edwards said.

Temperatures are not expected to dive down quite as far as they will in the Upper Midwest; however, it is expected to be dangerously cold.

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"The coldest air will settle into interior parts of the Northeast, where the mercury will drop well below zero Wednesday night," Edwards said.

Cities across the interior Northeast like Pittsburgh and Buffalo are forecast to register highs only in the single digits on Wednesday, as much as 30 degrees Fahrenheit below normal for the end of January.

The coldest air will reach the I-95 corridor late Wednesday night and Thursday. After single-digit low temperatures on Wednesday night, high temperatures on Thursday will only be in the teens for major hubs such as Philadelphia, New York City and Boston.

Download the free AccuWeather app to see how cold it will get in your area this week.

Biting winds will make it feel even colder than what the mercury reads Wednesday through Friday, bringing AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures below the actual temperature.

"On Wednesday night, AccuWeather RealFeel Temperatures will be well below zero for places like Pittsburgh; Baltimore; New York City; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Burlington, Vermont; and Providence, Rhode Island," Edwards said.

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With RealFeel Temperatures this low, dangers such as frostbite and hypothermia can take hold in less than 30 minutes.

Those impacted by the cold will have to take the proper precautions and cover all exposed skin to avoid these dangers. The homeless should be encouraged to stay in shelters.

Residents should ensure that they have a proper amount of propane, wood pellets and/or firewood to last during this cold outbreak.

Motorists should travel with a winter survival kit in the event their vehicle breaks down, and they are forced to wait for help. Precautions should be made to prep your car for the harsh cold to help keep you from getting stranded.

With the lack of this deep of cold so far this winter, a large portion of the Great Lakes remain unfrozen, opening the door for lake-effect snow as the icy air pours in.

The very cold air temperatures pouring over the warmer waters of the Great Lakes will create lake-effect snow downwind of the lakes into Friday. In more persistent bands in western and northern New York state, several feet of snow could pile up in some communities.

Cold is expected to ease across the Northeast at week's end, with temperatures returning closer to normal in time for the weekend.

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