The arctic air that plunged wind chills as low as 70 degrees below zero in the Midwest is moving into Western Massachusetts.
Wintry weather came roaring back into the Pioneer Valley on Wednesday with a blanket of snow. In Hampden County, snowfall amounts ranged from 3 to up to 6 inches.
The snow may have stopped falling, but the wintry weather is not over yet. Western Massachusetts is facing some dangerously low wind chill temperatures.
Temperatures will quickly drop Wednesday night, and stay absolutely frigid Thursday through Friday morning. Wind chills in Springfield will drop as low as 20 degrees below zero, which is cold enough to cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes. And that’s all thanks to a dip in the polar vortex, a swirling column of arctic air over the poles.
Some local residents plan to ride out the cold inside.
“I’ll be inside playing Xbox. So that’ll be my plan so I don’t have to deal with it fortunately,” Brandon Seymour from Chicopee told 22News.
In anticipation of the dangerously low temperatures, the City of Springfield activated their cold weather response plan through Friday. This means a so-called prevention team will respond to calls from the Springfield Police Department and residents to assist people who need transportation to shelter services. The City of Springfield suggests to have a well-stocked home emergency supply kit, and to dress in layers, limit time outside, bring your animals inside, and check on elderly neighbors if you can.