Cold to stay, but not for long

From east to west, Pennsylvanians will have to curl their shoulders against frigid winds today.

Dropping from 23 degrees Monday afternoon to below zero today, the temperature will “struggle back to zero for a high [today],” State College National Weather Service Meteorologist Aaron Tyburski said of the Altoona region.

Temperatures won’t break records for the calendar day this year, Tyburski said, but strong winds are knocking temperatures down to a bone-chilling 23 to 35 degrees below zero.

Wednesday won’t be as cold as today, he said. And a rapid rebound of warmer temperatures is expected on Thursday.

But today and maybe Wednesday, the weather will be carefully considered by many.

The chill may break water mains, causing water to seep up to roads and turn to ice. City water authority crews will be on standby all day, ready to cut the street and use backhoes to dig to broken pipes, said Tim Manley, Altoona Water Authority supervisor of water maintenance.

“We are ready for a few lines to break,” he said. “The number of lines that break depends on how long it stays cold. It looks to be a one- to two-day thing. I think we will be OK.”

Some school officials in area districts have canceled school for today so that children do not have to be exposed to frigid temperatures while walking to school or waiting for a bus.

Special precautions have been slated for the area’s senior citizens, too.

Blair Senior Services Inc. has rescheduled appointments for seniors who use the organization’s transportation services.

And seniors been invited for a hot meal and warmth at locations including the Central Blair Senior Center at 1320 12th Ave. Area centers will be open from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. today and Wednesday.

In the event of a large scale power outage, Altoona city residents can seek shelter at any of the four firehouses. They are located at 1319?Washington?Ave., 515 N. Second St., 530 Crawford Ave. or 3960 Sixth Ave.