A Hazardous Weather Conditions alert has been put out by the National Weather Service to warn of dangerously cold temperatures spreading across Berkshire County tonight and through the first half of the weekend.  A polar vortex will cause temps tonight will drop to near 0 degrees with wind gusting to as high as 28 mph.  Tomorrow and Saturday will remain bone chilling cold with a high in the single numbers delivering a wind chill value of -21 degrees.  Exposed skin for over 10-minutes could lead to serious frostbite.

According to SciJinks.com, a polar vortex is a low pressure area—a wide expanse of swirling cold air—that is parked in polar regions. During winter, the polar vortex at the North Pole expands, sending cold air southward. This happens fairly regularly and is often associated with outbreaks of cold temperatures in the United States.

The complete long-range forecast is below.

This Afternoon

A chance of snow showers, mainly before 4pm. Partly sunny, with a high near 21. Northwest wind around 17 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph. Chance of precipitation is 30%. Total daytime snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

Tonight

Partly cloudy, with a low around 0. Wind chill values as low as -17. Northwest wind 14 to 17 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph.

Friday

Mostly sunny and cold, with a high near 9. Wind chill values as low as -21. Blustery, with a northwest wind 17 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 31 mph.

Friday Night

Partly cloudy, with a low around 0. Wind chill values as low as -15. Northwest wind 9 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 26 mph.

Saturday

Sunny, with a high near 15. Northwest wind 8 to 11 mph.

Saturday Night

Mostly clear, with a low around -2.

Sunday

Mostly sunny, with a high near 22.

Sunday Night

A chance of snow after 1am. Mostly cloudy, with a low around 12. Chance of precipitation is 30%.

Monday

A chance of snow. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 27. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

Monday Night

A chance of snow. Cloudy, with a low around 21. Chance of precipitation is 50%.

Tuesday

A chance of snow. Cloudy, with a high near 29. Chance of precipitation is 40%.

Tuesday Night

Mostly cloudy, with a low around 17.

Wednesday

Mostly cloudy, with a high near 27.

Wednesday Night

Mostly cloudy, with a low around 16.

Thursday

Mostly sunny, with a high near 32.

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