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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The arctic blast has arrived in the Pittsburgh area.

Temperatures will continue to tumble down to zero by dinnertime, and then below zero by early Thursday morning.

“We’re talking about temperatures that are about 30 degrees below average,” said KDKA meteorologist Kristin Emery.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

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The National Weather Service illustrated just how cold it got in Pittsburgh Wednesday morning with the hot water test. They said: “Hot water meets the chilly 4 degrees in Pittsburgh… the hot water rapidly evaporates and then it condenses into a cloud.”

Watch it here:

Because of the extreme cold, Wind Chill Advisories and Warnings remain in effect across the region through late Thursday afternoon.

“High temperatures don’t normally stay in the single digits around the Pittsburgh area, and then we have wind gusts that could be 20-30 mph throughout today,” said Emery. “That’s why we have these wind chill advisories and warnings in effect.”

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Wind chills will hover at minus-15 to minus-20 degrees through mid-Thursday when the bitter cold finally begins to loosen its grip.

Emery says where the advisory is in effect, wind chills will go down to minus-20. Where the warning is in effect, in the Laurels, ridges and other places to the north, wind chills will approach minus-30.

“As we head through the afternoon, evening hours, through portions of Thursday morning, the wind chills will stay at -15 to -25 across much of southwestern Pennsylvania. The temperature falling to minus-4 for the actual air temperature, which will be close to our record for one day,” Emery said,

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If you think it’s bitterly cold in Pittsburgh, how about parts of the Midwest.

With the wind chill, it was expected to feel like about 50 below zero in Chicago this morning, and Minnesota could see wind chills of 70 below zero.

Because of the extreme cold, there were hundreds of closures around the area. School districts all over the region canceled classes on Wednesday.

But, after this cold snaps lifts later on Thursday, we’re in for a wild warm up that will have us flirting with a high of 50 degrees for the start of next week.

“We break out of single digits Thursday and the winds subside a bit, so we’ll lose those wind chill warnings in the afternoon,” Emery said.

Until then, officials are urging everyone to stay warm and stay safe in this cold by bundling up if you must go outside, or just stay warm inside if you can.

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