Sub-zero wind chills a hazard for Pittsburgh region through early Friday |

Sub-zero wind chills a hazard for Pittsburgh region through early Friday

Jeff Himler

Southwestern Pennsylvania residents who have to venture outside Wednesday or Thursday will need to bundle up to protect against a combination of bitter cold and strong winds that can quickly lead to frost bite on exposed skin.

Wind chills dipping as low as 20 degrees below zero are expected between 5 a.m. Wednesday and 5 p.m. Thursday, according to a National Weather Service advisory issued Tuesday morning for Allegheny, Westmoreland, Fayette, Greene and Washington counties.

A hat and gloves are a must for those going outdoors, as exposed skin could be subject to frost bite in as little as 30 minutes, according to the weather service. Hypothermia also could occur without proper protection from the elements.

A prediction of more severe conditions has prompted a winter chill warning for other nearby areas, including Armstrong County and the ridges of Westmoreland and Fayette counties. The warning of temperatures as low as 30 degrees below zero is in effect from 1 a.m. Wednesday through 11 a.m. Friday in Armstrong and from 5 a.m. Wednesday through 11 p.m. Thursday in the ridges.

Prolonged exposure in those conditions is potentially deadly, according to the weather service.

A previously issued winter weather advisory for the five counties in Pennsylvania’s southwestern corner has been cancelled.

The weather service is calling for a 40 percent chance of snow after midnight Tuesday and on Thursday night, with a 50 percent chance of snow on Friday and temperatures rising into the low 20s for the Pittsburgh region. Little or no accumulation is expected on Wednesday. Temperatures are expected to hit the 40s on Sunday.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter @jhimler_news.