Get ready for bitter cold weather this weekend

This weekend is expected to be very cold Friday with temperatures in the teens and drop further, with wind chill temperatures below 0°F. From Friday night into Saturday, the low temperature will be -3°F in New London County and -6°F in Windham County, before warming into the 40s by Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

The wind chill temperature is how cold people and animals feel while outside. Wind chill is based on the rate of heat loss from exposed skin caused by the combination of wind and cold, according to the National Weather Service.

Eastern Connecticut towns are able to respond to the cold if they need to.

Warming centers available

In Norwich, if a heating center is needed, it can be set up quickly in Norwich’s senior center, as the town worries about how people will stay warm, especially with rising heating oil costs, said Mayor Peter Nystrom.

In Plainfield, the recreation center will be open as a warming station on Friday, but the town won’t have the staff to keep it open through the night, said First Selectman Kevin Cunningham.

Some of the dangerously cold weather to expect this weekend, according to the National Weather Service
Some of the dangerously cold weather to expect this weekend, according to the National Weather Service

“If I had the staff, I would absolutely run something, but I don’t have the staff,” he said.

The town has also been trying to find ways to shelter some known homeless people, which is so far working, Cunningham said.

Cunningham is also thankful that there aren’t any anticipated power outages yet.

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“Try to stay safe and if you need anything, there’s always the Red Cross to contact,” he said.

The town doesn’t currently have a permanent weather-related shelter, but an effort to establish one is in the works with other towns near the Rhode Island border, including Killingly, Griswold and Voluntown, Cunningham said.

Record Cold Temperatures

The coldest temperature ever recorded in Connecticut was -32° on Feb. 16, 1943 in Falls Village and Jan. 22, 1961 in Coventry,  according to the National Centers for Environmental Information. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Norwich was -21°F, recorded on Jan. 21 1994, according to NOAA data.

This article originally appeared on The Bulletin: Extreme cold temperatures in Norwich, Killingly