FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Frigid wind chills will sweep across Fairfield County from late Thursday and into Friday morning, the National Weather Service warned in a special weather statement.
An arctic front crossing the region early Thursday evening is expected to bring snow showers, which could be briefly heavy, the weather service said.
In its wake will be 20 to 30 mph westerly winds with gusts of up to 40 to 45 mph on Thursday evening, the weather service said.
The winds will gradually weaken after midnight but not before ushering in a frigid air mass.
Temperatures will drop into the teens by Thursday evening and fall into the single digits by Friday morning..
The low temperatures combined with the strong winds will bring wind chills of -5 to -10 from late Thursday into early Friday.
Friday will be sunny but with a high temperature of only about 15 degrees, which is colder than average for this time of year.
A major snowstorm is in the forecast for Sunday night and into Monday that could bring another 6 inches of snow or more to the region.
The state has activated its Severe Cold Weather Protocol due to the low temperatures and wind chills. It directs various state agencies to coordinate with 2-1-1 and Connecticut’s network of shelters to ensure that the state’s most vulnerable population are protected from the severe cold weather.
“We must continue to protect the most vulnerable members of our state’s population during these severe cold weather outbreaks,” Gov. Dannel Malloy said in a statement. “I urge anyone in need of shelter to call 2-1-1 and encourage local communities to consider opening warming centers or other facilities to help people in need.”
Prolonged exposure to bitter cold and wind could lead to frostbite and hypothermia, the Weather Service warned. People should bundle up and wear hats and gloves when outdoors.
The Connecticut chapter of the American Red Cross warns people to avoid unnecessary exposure to the cold. When you prepare to go outside in severe cold weather, remember the following:
- Most of your body heat is lost through your head so wear a hat, preferably one that covers your ears.
- Dressing in layers helps you retain heat. You can remove layers as needed if you become too warm.
- Mittens provide more warmth to your hands than gloves.
- Wear waterproof, insulated boots to help avoid hypothermia or frostbite by keeping your feet warm and dry and to maintain your footing in ice and snow.