Hundreds of schools are opening late on Thursday morning as the coldest weather of the season is upon us.
A wind chill advisory is in effect statewide until this morning and we are in a deep freeze that will stick around as we battle subzero temperatures.
Temperatures are well below freezing early this morning and the wind chills are as low as negative-15 in Hartford and negative-16 in Windsor Locks.
Exposed skin can freeze in these conditions in just 30 minutes, so there is the danger of frost bite.
Gov. Dannel Malloy has activated the state's severe weather protocol through Saturday, and warming centers have opened across the state. Residents are advised to bring all pets indoors overnight as the bitter cold sets in.
Winds will diminish after sunrise on Thursday and temperatures should creep back up to around 20 degrees by the afternoon.
Snow developing early Friday could leave us with a coating to 2 inches of accumulation, causing the potential for slippery conditions during the morning commute. Wind gusts will also pick back up.
The American Red Cross recommends dressing in layers when spending time outside. Make sure to wear a hat, since most body heat is lost through your head, and wear mittens instead of gloves. Wear waterproof, insulated boots and warm yourself up with hot drinks or soup.
The weather is causing car problems and AAA’s Roadside Rescue Team has received more than 3,400 calls for emergency road service in Hartford, Middlesex, Tolland, Windham and New London counties so far this workweek, and they expect Thursday to be a busy day as well.
On Monday, they responded to 1,104 calls, including 302 battery problems, 118 flat tires and 92 lockouts. On Tuesday, they responded to 1,128 calls, including 334 battery problems, 128 flat tires and 107 lockouts. On Wednesday, the number of calls was up to 1,144, including 328 battery problems, 132 flat tires and 92 lockouts. As of 7 a.m. on Thursday, crews had already responded to 81 calls.
AAA recommends checking your car battery for warning signs, including your vehicle cranking slowly when you try to start it, a grinding, clicking or buzzing when you turn the ignition on and your vehicle stalling, your headlights dimming when you are idling but brightening when you rev the engine. They also recommend checking your battery if it is more than three years old.
AAA also recommends keeping an eye on your tires because cold weather can reduce tire pressure.
Aquarion Water Company is offering tips on how to keep the pipes in your house from freezing during the extremely cold temperatures:
- Let a faucet fed by pipes exposed to the cold drip to prevent the water inside from freezing.
- Never completely shut off the heat in a building unless all the pipes and toilets are drained first.
- Keep the doors to rooms where the pipes and water meter are located, including sink cabinets, open so warm air can keep temperatures above freezing.
- Eliminate cold drafts near water pipes (and, if indoors, the water meter) by filling cracks in walls and around windows, replacing broken glass, and installing storm windows on basement windows.