Extreme cold temperatures heading for Pittsburgh area

PITTSBURGH — An arctic blast is headed our way — causing temperatures to plunge to some of the coldest we’ve seen this winter.

So, if you don’t have to be outside over the next few days, don’t, said Dr. Tom Campbell, AHN’s chair of emergency medicine.

“Avoidance is the best thing in extreme temperatures,” he explained.

Temperatures are forecasted to plunge into the single digits or lower with a wind chill below zero.

“The extreme temperature isn’t the only thing,” said Campbell. “It’s wind chills that go with it and also whether you’re properly protected with clothing and if you’re damp or dry.”

Preparation is the name of the game if you work a job that requires you to be outside, or choose to exercise outdoors, that way you can avoid issues like hypothermia, frost bite, or simply slipping and falling on ice.

“Dress in layers,” instructed Campbell. “You have to keep your head covered, especially your ears, your hands and fingers covered extremely well.”

For those who feel they have nowhere to go, Operation Safety Net is one of the homeless shelters in our area that will have its doors open for a warm place to stay, a hot meal, or even medical care.

“Any time the weather gets colder, we expect more people to come into our shelters seeking warmth, showers, laundry, food,” said nurse practitioner Danielle Schnauber with Operation Safety Net.

Due to COVID restrictions, the shelter only has room to house around 60 people, but they’ll have outreach teams going throughout the city in an effort to maximize that capacity.

“We find a place for everybody for the night,” said Schnauber.