Dangerous wind chill up to 50 degrees below Zero will blast into the Northeast, while parts of the South will struggle to recover from a deadly snowstorm.
The chilling wind chill enveloping New England “may be the coldest felt in decades,” the Weather Forecast Center said.
More than 15 million people in the Northeast are under wind chill warnings or advisories. The warnings are in effect from Friday morning until Saturday afternoon.
“This is an epic, generational arctic blast,” said the National Weather Service in Caribou, Maine. “The air that will descend on the region Friday into Friday night is currently cold air from the Northern Hemisphere.”
Such extreme conditions can cause frostbite within 10 minutes.
Fortunately, the brutal blast would only last for about 36 hours. Temperatures are expected to rise in most parts of the Northeast on Sunday afternoon.
But to the south, cities crippled by a deadly snowstorm this week will get worse weather before the thaw this weekend.
Here’s what to expect in the south and northeast:
Snowstorm is attached At least three deaths in Texas More freezing rain Thursday morning.
Another quarter-inch of snow could blanket central and northern Texas and southern Oklahoma and Arkansas.
Adding to the misery: More than 400,000 homes, businesses and other electric customers were without power Thursday morning. PowerOutage.us. Most of the outages are in the Austin area.
Another 60,000 customers in Arkansas, 20,000 in Mississippi and 20,000 in Tennessee were without power in Thursday morning’s brutal cold.
But temperatures will be above freezing in most areas Thursday afternoon.
More than 15 million people will be under a wind chill warning from Friday as sub-zero temperatures and strong winds target the northeast.
“The wind chill is something northern and eastern Maine hasn’t seen since similar outbreaks in 1982 and 1988,” the weather service said.
The alerts cover all of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. They include northern New Jersey, northeastern Pennsylvania, and most of New York State outside of New York City and Long Island.
A cold front is expected to move into the area on Friday morning, with very cold temperatures expected Friday night and Saturday morning.
Temperatures will drop below zero degrees Fahrenheit in much of New York State and New England. Temperatures will drop 15 to 25 degrees below zero in northern New York and northern New England.
But a vicious wind can make the air feel even colder — with wind chills dropping from -35 to -50 degrees in northern New York State and northern New England.
“Avoid outdoor activities on Fridays and Saturdays!” New Hampshire Homeland Security and Emergency Management Posted on Facebook. “The cold temperatures combined with the wind chill factor can lead to life-threatening conditions outside.”
New York City can withstand wind chills as low as 10 degrees below zero.
In Boston, where temperatures will feel like 27 degrees below zero, the mayor has declared a cold emergency for Friday through Sunday.
“I urge all Boston residents to take precautions, stay warm and safe, and check on your neighbors during this cold emergency,” said Mayor Michael Wu.
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont activated the state’s Severe Cold Weather Protocol, which began Thursday afternoon and will last through the weekend.
“With the bitterly cold weather heading our way, frostbite can develop on exposed skin within 30 minutes,” the governor warned.
“Spending long periods of time outside in these conditions is not only harmful, it’s dangerous.”
There are shelters and warming centers throughout Connecticut, and transportation can be provided when needed, Lamont said.
Warming centers are also expected in Maine, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Vermont, officials said.
However, the agony does not last long. High temperatures across the region will rise between 20 and 30 degrees between Saturday and Sunday.
In fact, much of the Northeast — with the exception of northern Maine — will actually be above normal Sunday, with high temperatures reaching the 30s and 40s.