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Extreme Cold Taking Toll Across Pittsburgh Area

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- There is only one way to classify a day like Tuesday. Simply put, it was cold outside, and still is.

KDKA Chief Meteorologist Jeff Verszyla says temperatures will be in the single digits again tonight, but the winds aren't as brutal.

"Should have partly cloudy skies tonight," he said. "We'll be down in the upper single digits, and not as cold tonight as it has been the last couple of nights. The winds will be generally light. Then, [Wednesday] afternoon, we could see a couple of light snow showers. I don't think it's going to be much, a coating to maybe a half inch, best chance of that is going to be for areas south."

Watch the latest forecast:

On a day that started in single digits, the afternoon sun was a welcome addition.

"I think the sun kind of helps a little bit," said Samantha Segelken, of Canonsburg. "It takes off the edge of the cold."

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It's the type of day you do everything you can do to keep your body warm. Medical professionals say like the cold can make a weak battery fail; these chilly temperatures can create cardiac issues.

"You can actually trigger a heart attack because your blood vessels constrict," said Dr. Paul Porter, the director of emergency medicine at Allegheny General Hospital. "You put that strain on it, and you're not conditioned for it."

Dr. Porter says as strange as it sounds, just drinking something warm can help keep your body's core warmer.

Of course, you can't pour hot coffee in the diesel engines of school buses, which is why the folks at ABC Transit arrived at 4:30 a.m.

"We are here that early because we have to make sure they start," said Todd O'Shell, of ABC Transit, "and if they don't, we have to inform the school districts we serve that there's an issue."

As it was this morning, many school districts delayed today and may again Wednesday because superintendents can't assume everyone will be heading to a bus stop with proper clothing and coats.

"It gives us enough time to make sure the buses are heated and ready to go," said Gary Peiffer, the superintendent of Carlynton School District. "I think it's a difference when the sun comes up and it's a little bit lighter for the kids, and I'd rather delay and give some extra time."

Meanwhile, the possibility of a weekend snowstorm is still up in the air. Verszyla says "the energy has still not come onshore on the West Coast, which leaves the door open to various solutions."

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