Below-Zero Weather and Dangerous Wind Chills Send Shivers Across Cape Cod

windHYANNIS – A blast of Arctic air plunged Cape Cod into the deep freeze this weekend, with temperatures forecast to dip below zero late Saturday night into Sunday morning.

The National Weather Service issued a wind chill advisory for Cape Cod, Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard through 12 p.m. on Sunday, with dangerously cold wind chills between 15 and 24 below zero.

Wind chills that cold can bring on frostbite in as little as 30 minutes. An advisory from the National Weather Service urged people to limit outdoor exposure and dress in layers. Winds were expected to blow out of the northwest at 15 to 25 mhp, with gusts up to 45 mph.

A wind chill advisory is issued when the wind chill index is likely to reach 15 to 24 below zero for at least 3 hours. The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency is monitoring the brutally cold conditions and was prepared to respond to any related problems throughout the cold snap.

Electric utility Eversource was monitoring its electric and gas systems and was ready to respond to any problems that may arise.

Extreme cold can put a strain on the equipment that delivers electricity and natural gas to customers, so we’ll be keeping a particularly close eye on it this weekend,” said Peter Clarke, Senior Vice President of Emergency Preparedness at Eversource.

“Over the past several years, we have been adding new, more reliable pipes to our gas distribution system and have made significant upgrades to the electric system so it can better withstand these extreme weather conditions.”

The State Fire Marshal urged people to stay warm and safe during the Arctic blast.

“Expected sub-freezing temperatures will tax our heating and electrical systems as we try to stay warm, so a little caution can help you make it safely through the extreme weather,” said Acting State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey. “We’ve already seen a number of serious fires, so take a few minutes to protect yourself and your family.”

The weekend cold snap was expected to be short-lived, with temperatures expected to rebound into the low 50’s by Tuesday.

By MATT PITTA, CapeCod.com News Director

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