Tonawanda News — The Buffalo area was hit by a blast of frigid weather Friday, closing most of the region’s schools, and another cold weather system is now on its way.
As of Friday afternoon, the low was 0 degrees, barely missing the record of minus 1, which was set in 1981. But National Weather Service officials said the area could hit or surpass the record Friday night after dark.
Subzero wind chills were recorded on Friday. Between 5:30 a.m. and 6 a.m., when most school districts announced a snow day, the windchill was anywhere between minus 10 and minus 15.
“At 6:54 a.m., the windchill was minus 16,” Jim Mitchell, of the National Weather Service, said. “I’m sure it got down to minus 20.”
In total, 6.8 inches of snow fell between New Year’s Day and Friday as part of the winter storm Hercules. Although the wind chill advisory expired Friday at noon, another one was issued between 9 p.m. Friday and 4 p.m. Saturday.
The weekend is then forecasted to warm up, with temperatures rising into the upper 20s and near 30s Saturday.
“Another storm system — not lake effect — will come toward us Saturday night and bring us some snow on Sunday,” Mitchell said.
Lake effect snow will fall Monday and Tuesday, and another cold weather system will come through.
“Tuesday will be very cold and will be a repeat of today, if not a touch colder,” Mitchell said Friday.
Many health organizations are reminding residents to stay inside as much as possible and bundle up when going outside to prevent frostbite and hypothermia.
Signs of frostbite are white or grayish-yellow skin, skin that feels unusually firm or waxy and numbness. Warning signs of hypothermia are shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, slurred speech and drowsiness.
Those who experience those symptoms should immediately go to the hospital.