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Extreme Cold Temperatures Settle In Around Area

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The record for coldest high temperature for Feb. 15, was set Sunday at a whopping 6 degrees.

Unfortunately, it looks like cold air is here to stay for a while.

According to KDKA-TV Meteorologist Dennis Bowman, today's high will be just 14 degrees, with an overnight low of 11.

Meteorologist Michael Kennedy of the local National Weather Service office has been tracking the cold air mass that's swooped into our area.

Getting technical, he explained that a ridge of high pressure over California is keeping it warm out there and essentially blocking the East Coast from a warm up.

"It keeps us under this persistent area of low pressure and that's why we've consistently seen these temperatures well below normal here in the local area," Kennedy said.

The City of Pittsburgh Public Works Department said the good news is snowfall has been below what was predicted.

A total of 41,000 tons of salt was ordered for this winter and they have yet to run out.

The only problems the city foresees are related to the cold, such as potholes and water main breaks.

Temperatures are not expected to really warm up until next month.

"The outlook looks to be about normal snowfall for the rest of the season. However, temperatures look to stay well below normal at least through the early part of March," Kennedy said.

The best way to beat the cold is to stay inside your home. But, if you do go out, take some precautions because frostbite and hypothermia are real dangers with temperatures this low.

"There's some areas of the country where people are cold-acclimated. They deal with this every day and they are cautions. But, here in Pennsylvania, luckily, we don't have a lot of days like this. So, it's a combination of factors. Is your skin wet or dry? Is it a situation where the wind speeds are really high? The exposure can be significant in minutes in some cases on exposed skin," Allegheny General Hospital Dr. Rade Vukmir said.

The City of Pittsburgh has opened some warming centers until 9 p.m. at the following locations:

  • Greenfield Senior Center
  • Homewood Senior Center
  • Sheraden Senior Center
  • South Side Market House

Catholic Charities opened up early on Sunday to help the area's homeless.

Animal Control in the city is enforcing a law prohibiting animals from being outside for long periods of time.

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