Indiana, PA - Indiana County

Deep freeze to strike region

by on January 26, 2014 1:59 AM

About that weather you have in store for us this week Mother Nature, not cool, not cool at all. Cold, in fact. Really, really cold.

Like, literally, as Tuesday's and Wednesday's lows are expected to plunge to a point well below zero. According to meteorologists, it could be the coldest cold the area has experienced this winter.

But for the time being, the weather should be reasonable, with temperatures expected to hang around in the low 20s today and tonight. However, the wind chill may make it feel colder than that, according to the National Weather Service in Pittsburgh.

[PHOTO: Claudine Coffman, of Indiana, walked her 9-year-old Pembroke Corgi, Molly, along Seventh Street in Indiana Saturday amid a snowstorm. (Teri Enciso/Gazette photo)]

Temperatures are to remain in the 20s during the day Monday, but are expected to fall into the single digits by Monday evening as the area gets another blast of Arctic air. Temperatures will continue dropping, too, all the way down to 11 degrees below zero by Monday night or Tuesday morning.

And they won't recover much.

Tuesday's high will be 1 degree, according to the weather service. It will be bitterly cold Tuesday night, too, with a low of 11 degrees below zero.

Meanwhile, State College-based AccuWeather is forecasting temperatures of, at best, zero degrees on Tuesday. It expects Tuesday's low to be 12 degrees below zero.

Wednesday to be bitterly cold as well, with a high of 5 degrees and a low of minus 3 degrees, according to AccuWeather.

That would be the coldest air we've experienced this winter, it said.

Of course, cold air hasn't been in short supply this month.

Based on observed temperatures reported to the National Weather Service, 12 of the 25 days so far this month haven't climbed above the freezing mark. Lows of minus 10 degrees were reported on Jan. 7 and 8. Lows of minus 9 degrees were observed on Wednesday and Thursday.

But at the same time, it hasn't been entirely frigid — there have been three days this month in the 50s and two in the mid to high 40s.

Still, that's not much consolation for what's expected to come.

Tom Stutzman, the Indiana County Emergency Management Agency director, said his agency is keeping an eye on the approaching weather and has been in touch with local social services.

"We haven't had any major issues through the last two events, but we'll monitor the situation and coordinate with 2-1-1 (the county's human services hotline) and the county's human services office for any spikes in service requests," he said.

The deep freeze isn't expected to last — AccuWeather meteorologists said temperatures will start to moderate on Thursday, with a high forecast to reach the upper 20s. It will be in the low 30s on Friday, it said. The National Weather Service is a bit more pessimistic, however. It's calling for highs in the low 20s on Thursday and highs in the mid 20s on Friday.

Sam Kusic is a staff writer for The Indiana Gazette.
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