Hazardous sub-zero wind chills to cripple Pittsburgh region through early Friday
Southwestern Pennsylvania residents who have to venture outside Wednesday or Thursday will need to bundle up to protect against bitter cold and strong winds that can quickly lead to frost bite on exposed skin.
Wind chills dipping as low as minus 20 degrees are expected between 5 a.m. Wednesday and 5 p.m. Thursday, according to the National Weather Service, which has issued a wind chill advisory for Allegheny, Westmoreland, Fayette, Greene and Washington counties.
A hat and gloves are a must for those going outdoors, as exposed skin could be subject to frost bite in as little as 30 minutes, according to the weather service. Hypothermia also could occur without proper protection from the elements.
Most of the region’s colleges and universities canceled classes Wednesday.
Schools cancelling both day and evening classes for Wednesday include the University of Pittsburgh , Carnegie Mellon, Chatham, Robert Morris, Slippery Rock, LaRoche College, Westmoreland County Community College, Community College of Allegheny County, and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
Duquesne University and California University of Pennsylvania announced classes at their campuses would be canceled Wednesday and Thursday.
Most area school districts also closed for the day. A complete list of school and business closings can be found at Tribune-Review news partner WPXI’s website.
Predictions show wind chills will drop below zero by 5 a.m. and remain so for the next two days. They are expected to reach 20 below between 8 p.m. Wednesday and 5 a.m. Thursday, though they are expected to reach minus 10 around 8 a.m. and continue to worsen throughout the day as single-digit air temperatures continue to fall.
A high of 13 degrees around 2 a.m. Wednesday is expected to plummet to minus 2 degrees by midnight and fall to 3 below early Thursday. The high Thursday is Greensburg is expected to reach 9 degrees, according to the weather service.
A prediction of more severe conditions has prompted a wind chill warning for other nearby areas, including the ridges of Westmoreland and Fayette counties. The warning of temperatures as low as minus 30 is in effect from 5 a.m. Wednesday through 11 p.m. Thursday in the ridges.
Prolonged exposure in those conditions is potentially deadly, according to the weather service.
Looking at actual temperatures, the mercury is expected to hit a low of between zero and 3 below during this Pittsburgh region cold snap, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Myranda Fullerton. The lowest temperature on record in the area is minus 22, reached Jan. 19, 1994.
A previously issued winter weather advisory for the five counties in Pennsylvania’s southwestern corner has been canceled.
The weather service is calling for a 40 percent chance of snow after midnight Tuesday and Thursday night, with a 50 percent chance of snow Friday and temperatures rising into the low 20s for the Pittsburgh region. Little or no accumulation is expected Wednesday. Temperatures are expected to hit the 40s on Sunday.
Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review
staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter @jhimler_news.
Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .