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Strong winds bring frigid temperatures across Massachusetts

A man appears to be walking through a cloud, as steam rises from a manhole on St. James Avenue Tuesday morning.John Tlumacki/Globe Staff

If Omicron isn’t enough to keep you inside this weekend, the current cold snap might be. Temperatures dropped into the single digits and teens Saturday around the Commonwealth. But with windchills falling below zero in most areas, it felt even colder.

Boston hit 6 degrees at 10 a.m., according to the National Weather Service, but the city felt even more bitterly cold from a windchill of minus 13 degrees. By 5 p.m., the city felt like minus 4 degrees from the windchill.

Mayor Michelle Wu declared a cold emergency for Boston Saturday because of the frigid temperatures.

This graph shows expected temperatures around Boston from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning.National Weather Service

Much of Massachusetts was under a windchill advisory Saturday. The National Weather Service issues such advisories “when the wind chill could be life-threatening if action is not taken.”


To be safe, residents of the affected areas should limit their time outside and dress as warmly as possible to protect themselves from frostbite or similar conditions.

Windchills were below zero across Massachusetts during the day, according to the weather service.

Wind chill in Massachusetts.NWS

Wind was a problem Friday afternoon particularly on Cape Cod, where wind speeds ranged from 50 to 65 mph, weather service meteorologist Kristie Smith said, but wind speeds slowed across the state Saturday.

This map shows maximum wind gust estimates for Friday and Saturday's cold spell.National Weather Service
Apparent temperature, also known as wind chill, is how cold it feels outside to a person. This map shows minimum estimated apparent temperature in Mass. Friday and Saturday.National Weather System

The arctic cold front is resulting in “bitter” and “dangerous” weather patterns, according to forecasters.

A storm is expected to move across the state Sunday night into Monday morning, Smith said, and could drop up to 8 inches of snow in western Mass.

“A Winter Storm Watch has been issued for the Berkshires & Northern Worcester Hills,” NWS Boston tweeted. “Rain is expected on the coast but the concern there is for damaging wind gusts & minor to moderate coastal flooding during the Monday AM High Tide.”

Expected snowfall totals for a storm that will move through Massachusetts Sunday night into Monday morning.National Weather Service

Cape Cod and inland parts of the state follow different weather patterns. The mildest windchill in Massachusetts is expected on the Cape, despite that area having the strongest wind speeds. This contrast is because Cape Cod has such higher temperatures than the rest of the state. Windchill is calculated by balancing wind speeds and actual degrees Fahrenheit.


“[The] Cape stays substantially warmer than the rest of the area,” mostly due to the warmer ocean temperatures, said Smith. She explained that Western Mass. is consistently colder, so even with slower wind speeds, it would still feel colder than the Cape.