At Providence, a Wind Chill Advisory is in effect for Fri 10am – Sat 10am with ambient temperature down to -6F and wind chill as low as -30F due to sustained wind of 25MPH with gusts to 45MPH. The worst of the severe cold will be Fri 6pm – Sat 12pm when wind chill consistently below -10F is expected. Suburbs outside the metropolitan area will likely be even colder.
Extreme cold to this extent is life-threatening to anyone out of doors and can cause hypothermia and frostbite to exposed skin in as few as 10 minutes. The RI Emergency Management Agency is opening warming centers for people who need protection from the cold — riema.ri.gov/planning-mitigation/resources-businesses/warming-centers — and lists local contacts — riema.ri.gov/planning-mitigation/local-contacts — for anyone seeking shelter. Help is also available by telephoning 211.
Providence may see a new record low ambient temperature, exceeding -3F set Feb 3, 1955, and -2F set Feb 4, 1918. The normal low for both dates is 22F, and records date back to 1905.
The cold snap will be brief with temperatures recovering to 15F – 20F by Sat afternoon, to 45F by Sun and Mon, and to 50F by Tue and Wed.
Northern New England could see wind chills to -60F and parts of New York could see wind chills to -40F. Heating systems could be stressed to the point of failure and vehicles could fail to start and run reliably.