Arctic blast brings freezing temps, wind chill warnings to Northeast

A blast of arctic weather has descended upon the Northeast and northern Mid-Atlantic states bringing cold temperatures not seen in years. 

The National Weather Service said the bitterly cold temperatures could last through Wednesday for "much of the eastern two-thirds of [the] country" as a high-pressure system slides of the East Coast. 

According to FOX Weather, some locations haven’t seen such cold temperatures since January 2019.

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Temperature highs are expected to struggle out of the teens and 20s for most spots with some seeing temperatures in the single digits, according to NWS.

Wind chill warnings and advisories are in effect, extending from upstate New York to Maine. Meteorologists said blustery winds would add to the cold snap, bringing wind chills as low as 40 degrees below zero in northern Maine, where some warming centers have already opened up to keep people out of the cold. 

In Massachusetts, several school districts are closed due to the weather including Boston, Worcester, and Lowell. 

"We want to make sure there’s no risk of students being either out in the cold on the way to school or having issues in school because the ventilation that’s needed with the pandemic and more windows being opened throughout each of our school buildings," Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said, according to Boston 25 News

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Schools were also closed in parts of Vermont and New Hampshire.

In Pennsylvania, the forecast high for Tuesday is just 25 degrees in Philadelphia, with blustery, biting winds making conditions feel even colder.

Reporting on the cold snap, FOX 29's Shaynah Ferreira reminded residents to keep an eye on tire pressure and to use caution if they leave cars running to keep them warm. Ferreira says today is the day to stay warm and to work from home if possible.

"It is frigid out here," Ferreira says emphasizing that today is the kind of day where one should stay indoors.

The NWS is warning people to be aware of frostbite, which can take effect within 10 minutes on exposed skin. Frostbite is the freezing of skin and the body tissue just beneath it. It first affects exposed body tissue where blood circulation may be limited such as your fingers, toes, nose and ears. 

NWS officials say, to minimize frostbite, make sure all body parts are well covered. When frostbite starts, feeling is lost in the affected area and the frozen tissue will take on a white or pale appearance. 

If you suspect you are experiencing frostbite, hold the frostbitten area closely against warm skin to return blood flow and warmth to the affected area.

On a slightly warmer note, seasonally temperatures are expected to return Wednesday. Highs will rise into the 30s and 40s for much of the Northeast, which is typical for the middle of January, according to FOX Weather. 

This story was reported from Los Angeles.