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Tempereratures Plunge, State's 'Severe Weather Protocol' Activated

State agencies coordinating with 2-1-1 and Connecticut’s network of shelters to ensure that the state’s most vulnerable people are protected. Weather forecast for the week calls for flurries on and off.

 

You don't have to check the weather forecast to know, it's cold outside.

Temperatures for the remainder of the week are expected to dip as low as six below, when wind chill factors are taken into account. The National Weather Service says there is potential for a "light to moderate accumulating snowfall late Friday into Friday night, as an area of low pressure passes south of the tri-state region."

"There is still some uncertainty as to the track of the low which will have an impact on the amount of snow across the region," the NWS says.

The full forecast from NWS is below, along with a statement from Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on the state's severe weather protocol, and some cold-weather tips:

About.com Walking recommends using the layering principle when heading outdoors in cold weather:

  • Base Layer: Wicking fabric to keep your skin dry and prevent that clammy feeling.
  • Insulating Layer: Fleece or wool, vest or shirt that can be added or removed depending on how cold you feel.
  • Windproof and Water-Resistant Outer Layer: A jacket, preferably with a hood, to keep out the elements.

Read more about how to dress properly for cold weather at About.com Walking.

When is it too cold for your dog to be out? This article from "On Loving Animals" says anything below 20 degrees could be too cold for some pets to do anything more than a quick trip outside to do their business:

Know your dog. Some dogs can tolerate snow and the cold weather, but some can't. Your dog will usually let out signs that it's too cold for him/her. They shiver, look up at you, stay near the door, or simply stand still. Your correct interpretation of your dog's behaviour can protect him from the cold/hypothermia far more than any warm jacket can. When it comes down to 20F and below, it's best for dog and human not to be walking around the neighborhood.

Read more about cold weather dog walking at "On Loving Animals."

If your dog is the type that can tolerate some degree of cold, but you think he or she could use a little protection even after it warms up to above 20 degrees, check out the dog sweaters at The Modern Dog, 690 Boston Post Road, in Madison, CT. They also have dog booties, for dogs who will tolerate that. 

Here is the forecast from the National Weather Service:

  • Wednesday:Scattered flurries after 2pm. Mostly sunny, with a high near 16. Wind chill values as low as -6. Northwest wind 10 to 13 mph.
  • Wednesday night: Scattered flurries. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 4. Northwest wind 5 to 9 mph becoming calm after midnight.
  • Thursday: Partly sunny, then gradually becoming sunny, with a high near 20. Wind chill values as low as -6. North wind 6 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph.
  • Thursday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 2. Northwest wind 5 to 14 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph.
  • Friday: A slight chance of snow after 4pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 22. Northwest wind around 7 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.
  • Friday Night: Snow likely, mainly between 10pm and 4am. Cloudy, with a low around 18. Chance of precipitation is 60%.
  • Saturday: A chance of snow before 7am. Partly sunny, with a high near 25. Blustery. Chance of precipitation is 30%.
  • Saturday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 11.
  • Sunday: Mostly sunny, with a high near 28.
  • Sunday Night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 17.
  • Monday: Partly sunny, with a high near 35.
  • Monday Night: Mostly cloudy, with a low around 25.
  • Tuesday: Partly sunny, with a high near 42.

The following is a press release from the Office of Gov. Dannel Malloy.

With bitter winter cold temperatures expected over the next several days, Governor Dannel P. Malloy today directed the Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS), the Department of Social Services (DSS) and the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) to coordinate with 2-1-1 and Connecticut’s network of shelters to ensure that the state’s most vulnerable people are protected.

“Overnight temperatures are expected to range from 0 to 10 degrees over the next several days,” Governor Malloy said.  “Factor in the wind chill, and it will feel like 0 to -15 degrees.  We are taking steps now to make sure that we can take care of those in need of shelter.

“The 2-1-1 system provides an incredibly important service to the people of Connecticut and I encourage everyone to take advantage of the help that is available to them.  I am also encouraging local communities to consider opening warming centers or other facilities to help people in need.”

Under the state’s Severe Cold Weather Protocol, DEMHS activates its WebEOC communications network – an internet-based system that allows local, regional and state emergency management officials and first responders to share up-to-date information about a variety of situations and conditions. 

The system is used to monitor capacity at shelters across the state, enabling 2-1-1 to act as a clearinghouse to ensure shelter space is found for those who need it.  Local officials, working through WebEOC, can alert 2-1-1 and the state when they open temporary shelters or warming centers.

DSS coordinates with 2-1-1 and the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness, as well as working with existing vendors to resolve transportation issues for people needing shelter during the period of severe cold.

DMHAS, meanwhile, has teams who specialize in working with homeless people to locate those who are at risk, spread the word about the 2-1-1 system, and encourage everyone to take advantage of the safety of shelters.  The agency is also working with shelters to assess and meet the needs of individual clients during this cold snap.

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