Wind chill temperatures overnight Friday will feel like 20 degrees below zero, with the bitter cold sticking around through Saturday.
The wind chill values will reach between 15 to 20 degrees below zero from about 2 a.m. to 9 a.m. Saturday, Gary Lessor, meteorologist with the Weather Center at Western Connecticut State University, said. Wind gusts on Friday will be up to 40 miles an hour. Saturday will be sunny and breezy with late morning temperatures around zero degrees and then reaching into the teens in the afternoon, Lessor said.
Sunday will be sunny with temperatures in the upper 20’s and near 30 degrees. Then the snow moves in Sunday night with total accumulations between two to four inches, Lessor stated. The snow will turn to periods of rain Monday morning and end by about noon. Temperatures on Monday will be near 40 degrees, Lessor said.
Governor Ned Lamont announced that the state’s cold weather protocol went into effect at noon on Friday and will remain in effect through noon on Wednesday, Jan. 19. The protocol allows the most vulnerable populations to have protection from severe cold conditions. A system is set up for state agencies and municipalities to coordinate with the United Way 2-1-1 and the state’s network of shelters.
“It’s looking like we are going to see another blast of arctic temperatures moving into the state, followed by the potential for a winter storm,” Lamont said in a statement Friday. “These conditions can be extremely dangerous if someone is outdoors for extended periods of time, which is why we are urging anyone in need to seek shelter. If you or someone you know is in need of shelter, call 2-1-1 and they will direct you to a nearby location and they can also provide transportation if necessary.”
Crews were out in Meriden on Thursday repairing water main breaks, which are common during the winter season, Richard Meskill, Director of Public Utilities, said. When the weather is cold and the frost penetrates the ground, the ground will move, which can cause water mains to break, he said.
On Thursday afternoon there was a significant break on North Spring Street and water was shut off around 2 p.m., Meskill said. Crews were working on a different break and weren’t able to start work repairing the North Spring Street break until around 6 p.m., and finished around midnight. Meskill said a rule through the health department states if water service is going to be interrupted for more than 12 hours water must be provided to residents. About 20 to 25 homes, most multi-apartment units, were effected by this break, Meskill said.
City employees went door to door around 7 p.m. to provide bottled water to residents. Meskill said the very cold temperatures during the week and headed into the weekend could effect the system, but noted it is hard to predict if and where a water main break will occur. The city’s water system is over 100 years old, and aging pipes can contribute to breaks, he said. Crews are on standby in cause of a break.
“It can be challenging,” Meskill said. “...We will never run out of work.”
Meskill advised residents to keep some bottled water on hand in case of an outage, similar to if there was a power outage. The Wallingford Senior Center announced it will be closed until at least Tuesday due to frozen pipes and a burst water line earlier in the week.