The coldest air in two years has seized the tri-state area with subzero wind chills and brutal temps that are expected to last the rest of the week.
Residents north and west of the city woke up to temperatures below zero Wednesday morning, a day after the deep freeze descended on the region. Forecasters say the peak of the "cold wave" hit overnight Tuesday as base temperatures plunged into the lower single digits throughout most of the area.
The high Wednesday was 19, but it felt like just 6 degrees for the evening commute. And don't expect relief for the return to work on Thursday -- the morning will kick off with a real-feel temp of 2 degrees.
Highs will go back up into the 20s on Thursday, but winds will be stronger, so it's still going to feel brutally cold.
Though this nasty punch of cold weather likely feels as if it must be a record chill, forecasters say temperatures aren't expected to get anywhere close to record cold. Record lows for this time of year are zero degrees or below in the city, and base temperatures this week aren't expected to fall below the teens.
These cold temperatures can be dangerous, so tri-state residents are advised to heed certain cold weather tips, including wearing mittens, which keep extremities warmer than gloves, covering one's mouth to protect the lungs from the bitter cold air, layering loose-fitting, warm clothing and wearing a hat, because 40 percent of heat is lost through the head.
Animal advocates urge pet owners only take elderly dogs, puppies and short-haired dogs outside when they need to relieve themselves. If a dog whines frequently or keeps lifting its paws up while on a walk, it may need boots. Cat owners should keep their animals inside at all times in such bitter cold.
Storm Team 4 is tracking another winter storm later in the week that could bring rain, snow or both forms of precipitation depending on track and temperatures. At this point, forecasters say there's a chance for at least a few inches of snow accumulation in and around the city late Friday into early Saturday.
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