EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

January 23, 2013

Winter blast arrives in N.H.

Cold air moves in and stays

If yesterday seemed windy and cold, brace yourself.

The temperature is expected to reach a high of 12 degrees today, with the wind chill plummeting to 14 degrees below zero, according to the National Weather Service.

And don’t expect the frigid weather to let up any time soon, meteorologist Robert Marine said.

Plan on the temperature dropping to 5 degrees below zero tonight and the wind chill as low as 15 below.

It will be sunny and warmer tomorrow, but only 15 degrees for a high temperature. Temperatures are then expected to remain in the low 20s for the next three days.

“The cold air is going to stay with us for a while,” said Marine, who works out of the NWS office in Gray, Maine.

“It’s the coldest Arctic air we’ve had so far this year,” he said.

The average daily temperature for this time of year is in the low 30s, he said.

Snow could fall Friday night, but it’s still too early to make predictions, Marine said.

With colder weather closing in, the New Hampshire Office of Energy and Planning is seeing an increase in people seeking help paying for their heating oil. But that’s not unusual this time of year, fuel assistance program manager Celeste Lovett said.

“In the last week, we are getting calls from people who never applied before,” she said. “The cold weather will draw people into the program. ... We’re getting calls from people with no heat or (those) who are running low.”

There are 27,297 applicants vying for $26 million in fuel assistance, the same amount New Hampshire received last year, Lovett said. People can still apply through April 30 and should dial 211, she said.

Temperatures were in the 20s yesterday, but some local plumbers already were receiving calls for frozen pipes and expecting more as the week progresses.

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