Potentially historic and deadly wind chills as low as 40-below are expected to descend on the Northern Seacoast for much of Friday into Saturday afternoon, according to weather advisories.
The advisory runs from 10 a.m. on Friday till 1 p.m. on Saturday and affects all of the Greater Rochester region including York County in Maine.
The most significant danger from the cold snap will be hypthermia and frostbite which can take effect on exposed skin in just 10 minutes.
Friday will start off with temps around 30 and a few snow flurries shortly after midnight before the mercury begins to plummet as the sun rises.
By the early afternoon it will be in the single digits and by nightfall it will dip below zero, bottoming out around 15-below at sunrise Saturday when the wind chills will also reach their peak at what will likely be a record 43-below.
Sunday will see a sharp rebound from the frigid temps with a high of 38 degrees.
During the height of the cold snap residents are urged to stay indoors as much as possible, make sure pets don't stay out too long and use precautions with using space heaters and generators.
If you must go out, make sure you have no exposed skin and wear multiple layers of clothing including gloves, a scarf and winter hat.
With extremely cold temperatures predicted, the Warming Center of Strafford County will remain activated every day till Saturday, from 5 p.m.-9 a.m.
During the day, there are several options for the people of Rochester in need of warmth, including Rochester City Hall, Rochester Public Library, and SOS Recovery during regular business hours. In addition, the Rochester Police Department has designated a warming room that is open 24/7.
Rochester Welfare Director Todd Marsh is encouraging people in need to take advantage of the several public resources available.
"As temperatures are expected to lower to extreme cold temperatures later this week, I urge people living unsheltered throughout Strafford County, including Rochester, to access lifesaving housing options throughout our region, including the Warming Center for Stafford County in Somersworth," Marsh said in a statement from the city put out on Tuesday.
During the week, COAST bus tickets to the Warming Center will be available at SOS Recovery locations in Rochester (14 Signal Street) and Dover (4 Broadway).
Please note, COAST does not operate after 3 p.m. on Saturdays. Instead, SOS will run a shuttle from their Dover location as well as the Dover Transportation Center at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. In Rochester, SOS will pick up between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. at the COAST bus stop near the Rochester Public Library on South Main Street.
To get text notifications for Warming Center Activations, please text 'Willand' to (855) 970-3280. For more information and general inquiries, contact the Rochester Municipal Welfare Department at (603) 332-3505.