The big chill is back just as schools resume today after Monday’s federal holiday for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
The temperature will barely budge as highs between 5 and 10 degrees are expected this morning, said Jim Mitchell, a National Weather Service meteorologist at Buffalo Niagara International Airport.
“The cold air is going to stick around,” he said.
Temperatures steadily fell Monday from morning highs in the lower 30s to an overnight low of zero in some areas as an arctic cold front passed through, Mitchell said.
Tonight will be the coldest night of the week as polar air from the front becomes entrenched in the region, he said. Temperatures as low as minus 5 degrees – without wind chill – are forecast.
A wind chill advisory was issued Monday by the Weather Service from 6 p.m. today to 11 a.m. Wednesday for all of Western New York. Northwest winds of up to 15 mph near the Lake Ontario shore could lead to wind chill values of as low as minus 20 degrees.
Wind chill, while complex to compute, helps measure the rate of heat loss on the human body from the combined effect of low temperature and wind, according to the National Weather Service website. When the wind chill figure goes south of 17 degrees below zero, frostbite can occur on exposed skin in 15 minutes or less.
The Buffalo City Mission issued a Code Blue weather alert for Monday night and tonight. The mission, 100 E. Tupper St., will be open all day and night to receive people escaping the frigid temperatures. St. Luke’s Mission, 325 Walden Ave., also is open for the homeless.
Meanwhile, scattered “nuisance” snow showers all week will keep roads slick, Mitchell said. Snowfall will be light in the Buffalo metro area but may accumulate in areas north into Niagara County, he said.
Wednesday will be a repeat of today’s weather with highs around 10 degrees.
Highs will creep up Thursday into the low teens, and into the mid-20s this weekend..