First Alert Weather

Boston Declares Cold Emergency Ahead of Frigid Temps, Dangerous Wind Chills

Wind chills will begin to drop to dangerous, life-threatening levels late Friday

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A cold emergency is in effect in Boston Friday through Sunday as the city braces for frigid temperatures and wind chills below 0, Mayor Michelle Wu's office said Wednesday.

Wind chills will begin to drop to dangerous levels late Friday.



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"Boston is moving quickly to ensure that everyone is protected from the intense cold weather that will start Friday and last through the weekend. I want to thank the many city teams who have already begun preparations and will be responding to this weekend’s brutal cold weather,” Wu said in a statement. “I urge all Boston residents to take precautions, stay warm and safe, and check on your neighbors during this cold emergency.”

Residents are urged to check on those at risk, including older adults, people with disabilities and those experiencing homelessness. Wind chills are forecast to reach as low as -21 degrees Friday and -27 degrees on Saturday.

If you see someone experiencing homelessness out on the streets or sleeping in a car, you are asked to call 911.

Today: Seasonable chill under a fair sky. Highs 35-40°, wind chill 25-30°. Overnight Thursday Night: A few passing snow showers, heavier squalls north. Arctic wind begins. Lows 20° south, 0° north. Friday: Bitter cold becomes dangerous chill late with wind gusts to 45 mph. Fair sky. Temperatures fall to the teens south, below zero north. Subzero late day wind chill, around -30° overnight Friday night.

The Boston Public Library and its branches will be open during their normal hours. The Southampton Street Shelter for men over 18 years of age and Woods Mullen Shelter for women over 18 years of age are open 24/7. Anyone with a non-violent restriction may come in during the emergency. Pine Street Inn’s mobile outreach vehicles will also be out on the street with extended hours. 

The Engagement Center on Atkinson Street will also be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Additionally, Boston Centers for Youth and Families (BCYF) locations will act as warming centers. A list of locations is below - centers will be open during their regular operating hours.

Additionally, Gov. Maura Healey decided to open South Station as a warming center overnight.

“I think it’s a good thing, because I was in a shelter last night and it wasn’t a good thing,” Darrin Gauthreaux, who’s experiencing homelessness, said.

The normal hours for South Station are from 5 a.m. until midnight, seven days a week.

“We talked to the private security company, and you saw the garbage bags are off. They’re not locking the doors that way. I’m going to be clear that if we face extreme weather, we’re going to allow people to stay there overnight. it’s a matter of basic humanity in my view,” Gov. Healey said during a GBH radio broadcast on Tuesday.

A local advocate for the homeless spoke with NBC10 Boston and described the overnight opening of South Station during extreme weather as part of a “band-aid effect.”

“The issue is we have individuals that are in the middle of a crisis, individuals that are unhoused that do not have the appropriate medical care,” Yahaira Lopez, co-founder or South End - Roxbury Community Partnership, said.

BCYF Community
AddressHours of Operation
(may change summer/school vacations)
BCYF Blackstone50 W. Brookline St. Boston 02118M, 1-9pm, Tu-F, 11am-9pm, Sa 9am-5pm
BCYF Charlestown255 Medford St. Charlestown 02129M-F 1-9pm
BCYF Clougherty Pool331 Bunker Hill St. Charlestown 02129Closed for renovation
BCYF Condon200 D St. So. Boston 02127M-F 11am-9pm, Sa 9am-5pm
BCYF CurleyProgramming at Walsh Gym
533 E Broadway, Boston, MA 02127
M-F, 8am-9pm
BCYF Curtis Hall20 South St. Jamaica Plain 02130M-F, 7am-9pm, Sa 9am-5pm
BCYF Draper Pool5279 Washington St. W. Roxbury 02132Closed for renovation
BCYF Flaherty Pool160 Florence St. Roslindale 02131M, 7am-3pm, Tu-F 5:30am-9pm, Sa 7am-3pm
BCYF Gallivan61 Woodruff Way Mattapan 02126M-F 9am-9pm, Sa 9am-5pm
BCYF Golden Age382 Main St. Charlestown 02129M-F 8am-4pm
BCYF Grove Hall51 Geneva Ave. Dorchester 02121M-F 8am-4pm
BCYF Hennigan200 Heath St. Jamaica Plain 02130M-F 1-8:30pm
BCYF Holland85 Olney St. Dorchester 02121M-F 11am-9pm, Sa 9am-5pm
BCYF Hyde Park1179 River St. Hyde Park, 02136M-F 7am-9pm, Sa 9am-5pm
BCYF Jackson/Mann500 Cambridge St. Allston 02134M-F 7am-9:30pm, Sa 9am-5pm
BCYF Leahy/Holloran1 Worrell St. Dorchester 02122M-F 1-9pm, Sa 9am-5pm
BCYF Marshall35 Westville St. Dorchester 02124M-F 1-9pm
BCYF Mason Pool159 Norfolk Ave. Roxbury 02119Tu-F 6:00am-8:30pm, Sa 9am-5pm
BCYF Mattahunt100 Hebron St. Mattapan 02126Closed for renovation
BCYF Menino125 Brookway Rd. Roslindale 02131M-F 7am-9pm, Sa 9am-5pm
BCYF Mildred Avenue5 Mildred Ave. Mattapan 02126M-F 1-9pm, Sa 9am-5pm
BCYF Mirabella Pool475 Commercial St. Boston 02113Summer: W-Su 11am-7pm
BCYF Nazzaro30 North Bennet St. Boston 02113M-F 9am-9pm
BCYF Ohrenberger175 W. Boundary Rd. W. Roxbury 02132M-F 1-9pm
BCYF Paris Street112 Paris St. E. Boston 02128M-F 8:30am-8:30pm, Sa 11am-7pm
BCYF Paris St. Pool113 Paris St. E. Boston 02128Closed for renovation
BCYF Perkins155 Talbot Ave. Dorchester 02124M-F 9am-9pm, Sa 9am-5pm
BCYF Pino86 Boardman St. E. Boston 02128M-F 8am-9pm, Sa 8am-4pm
BCYF Quincy885 Washington St. Boston 02111M-F 11am-9pm, 9am-5pm
BCYF Roche1716 Centre St. W. Roxbury 02132M-F 8am-8pm
BCYF Roslindale6 Cummins Hwy. Roslindale 02131M-F 9am-9pm
BCYF Shelburne2730 Washington St. Roxbury 02119M-F 7am-9pm, Sa 9am-5pm
BCYF Tobin1481 Tremont St. Boston 02120M-F 8am-9pm, Sa 9am-5pm
BCYF Tynan650 East Fourth St. So. Boston 02127M-F 11am-9pm
BCYF Vine Street339 Dudley St. Roxbury 02118M-F 7am-9pm, Sa 9am-5pm

Cold safety information

This is dangerous, life-threatening cold. The city offers the following tips to stay safe:

Dress for the weather:

  • Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, residents are required to wear face coverings in all indoor public places.
  • Wear several layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing rather than one layer of heavy clothing.
  • Outer garments should be tightly woven and water repellent.
  • Wear mittens over gloves; layering works for your hands as well.
  • Always wear a hat and cover your mouth with a scarf to protect your lungs.  
  • Dress children warmly and set reasonable time limits on outdoor play.
  • Restrict infants' outdoor exposure when it is colder than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Watch for signs of frostbite:

  • Signs of frostbite include loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes, and the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately.

Watch for signs of hypothermia:

  • These include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion. If you or someone you know shows any of these symptoms, contact a healthcare provider immediately. If symptoms are severe, call 911.

Heating safety:

  • Never heat your home using charcoal or gas grill, oven, or other products not specifically designed as a heater. These can cause a fire or produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide very quickly. 
  • Have your heating system cleaned and checked annually.
  • Install and maintain smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on every level of your home. Carbon monoxide is an invisible gas produced whenever any fuel is burned. Common sources include oil or gas furnaces, water heaters, fireplaces, stoves, and some space heaters. It has no smell, taste, or color. It is poisonous and can be deadly.
  • Carbon monoxide symptoms can be similar to other illnesses, including headache, dizziness, and weakness. If multiple people within a residence experience sudden onset of such symptoms, that can be a warning sign of possible carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Keep space heaters at least 3 feet from anything that can burn, including people.
  • Space heaters should be turned off and unplugged when you leave the room, or go to bed.
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