Connecticut residents spent Friday dealing with bone-chilling winds with record or near record cold expected this weekend.
Channel 3 Chief Meteorologist Bruce DePrest said temperatures will drop into the 20s on Friday night and even into the teens in the Litchfield Hills.
"We are now facing record or near record cold this weekend. The coldest air of the season poured into Connecticut today on a gusty northwesterly wind," DePrest said.
Wind gusts were recorded more than 40 mph in Windsor Locks and in Groton.
The cold was felt by workers at the Metropolitan District Headquarters. They spent eight chilling hours rebricking the entrance.
"I was thinking about making a makeshift mask,"Bristol resident Spark Carpenter said. "We’ve been in the shade most of the day and it was pretty cold in the shade but sun wasn’t too bad."
The record low for Nov. 11 for the Greater Hartford area is 12 degrees, set in 1956. The record low for Bridgeport is 22 degrees, also set in 1956.
Power outages were reported in a number of towns as of 6:30 p.m. on Friday. Eversource reported more than 800 customers without power, many of which were in New Canaan.
"The bitter wind will diminish throughout the night, but the mercury will bottom out near record levels by dawn," DePrest said.
While residents will see lots of sunshine on Saturday, however, temperatures will not get into the 40s.
"Record cold almost seems like a sure bet Saturday night if the sky remains clear or even partly cloudy," DePrest said.
Temperatures will only reach the 30s and low-40s across most of the state during Saturday afternoon. Overnight, the state heads back down to the teens and lower 20s.
The record for Nov. 12 in the Greater Hartford Area is 20 degrees, set in 1976. The record for Bridgeport is 28 degrees, set in 2013.
The weather will get a little more comfortable on Sunday with highs in the highs in the 40s to near 50.
"Sunday won’t be exactly warm, but it will feel a little better outdoors. That’s good news if you have plans to rake up some of those leaves that blew around today," DePrest said.
No matter what you think of this weather, Rocky Hill Fire Chief Michael Garrahy said protecting your body is always the first line of defense from the cold.
“Remember what your mom told you,” Garrahy said. “Dress in layers put on your gloves, put on your hat, put on a scarf and just dress warm.”
Garrahy also said follow common sense rules when heating your home.
“With space heaters always remember the three-foot rule. Keep three feet around it clear, never use your stove for heating, never use your oven for heating,” Garrahy said. “If you have a fire in a fireplace never leave it unattended.”
Keeping your house warm will keep your pipes from freezing so remember to shut your windows and doors.
“It’s brisk, but it’s really nice out and the suns coming through,” Christy Redman, of Mystic, said.
Garrahy reminded pet owners to bring animals inside to a warm place when the temperatures drop.
AAA officials said it'll be all-hands-on-deck to help stranded drivers for the first major wave of winter emergency calls.
AAA officials offered the following tips:
Check headlights, tail lights, brake lights
Check windshield wiper blades
Prepare a Winter Emergency Kit
“It will be all hands on deck at AAA so that we may respond to stranded motorists as quickly and safely as possible. AAA is encouraging anyone with a battery more than 3 years old to get it checked today – or you may regret it tomorrow” says Amy Parmenter, spokesperson for AAA in Greater Hartford, said in a statement on Friday.
AAA officials also released a list of emergency items to have in a vehicle in case of an emergency:
“The first goal is to avoid a breakdown. The second goal, should you break down, is to stay as safe and warm as possible while waiting for help to arrive,” Parmenter said.
To read the complete technical discussion, click here.
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