Frigid Arctic air to blanket region

Meteorologists say temperatures should be back to normal by Thursday


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You thought Friday was cold? Wait until next week.

A dangerous chill that will feel like 30 degrees below zero will settle over the area Monday night, National Weather Service meteorologist Brad Rehak said.

Yes, that's negative 30 -- 62 degrees below freezing.

A cold front Sunday will make way for that frigid arctic air, following a storm this week that left least 15 people dead, grounded hundreds of flights and dumped piles of snow across a large part of the Midwest and the Northeast.

Friday's Pittsburgh temperature peaked at 16, causing dozens of school delays, and dropped 10 degrees to the day's low.

The weekend, relatively speaking, will feel balmy, with today's high at 35 and Sunday going all the way up to 40 degrees. But don't break out the flip-flops quite yet. Sunday night rain is expected to turn into several inches of snow.

As for Monday?

"There won't be a high," Mr. Rehak said. "The temperature will fall all day."

The afternoon "high" will rise to just 5 degrees, though it will feel more like 15 to 20 below zero with the wind chill.

Mother Nature must have missed the memo about Mayor-elect Bill Peduto's Monday inauguration. His transition team announced Friday that he will take the oath of office in heated Heinz Hall instead of outside on the steps of the City-County Building, as initially planned.

Overnight, the temperature will plummet to 10 degrees below zero, which will bite like 25 below to 30 below. Mr. Rehak said to expect a wind chill warning, though none had been issued as of Friday night.

(All the while, normal temperatures for this time of year should fluctuate between the low 20s and mid-30s, he said.)

A respite will finally come Tuesday night, as the arctic air begins moving out, though the temperature will still be near zero.

"We'll be back to normal by Thursday," Mr. Rehak said. "It's not going to last long. That's the best part of the news."

Wednesday's high will be near 20, and the following day, at freezing.

Weather associated with this week's storm was responsible for at least 15 deaths nationwide, including a worker who was killed by a falling pile of road salt outside Philadelphia.

In the Northeast, the storm seemed to save the most snow for Massachusetts, where more than 13 inches fell in Boston and almost 2 feet fell to the north.

The Midwest saw record lows, with Green Bay, Wis., dropping to minus 18 and in Fort Wayne, Ind., minus 10.

Nearly 1,900 flights were canceled nationwide Friday.

By that night, 495 flights were already delayed and 339 cancelled for today and another 2 delayed and 28 cancelled Sunday, according to flight-tracking service FlightAware.


Lexi Belculfine: lbelculfine@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1878 or Twitter: @LexiBelc. The Associated Press contributed.

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