State and local officials and utilities are preparing for Friday and Saturday's cold snap, which will bring dangerously cold wind chills to the Seacoast region.

The National Weather Service is expecting the frigid air and gusty winds to arrive with an arctic cold front Thursday night. Winds will gust to 30-40 mph Friday through Saturday, which will drop wind chills to -30 to -45. A Wind Chill Warning is in effect for all of New England Friday through Sunday morning.

On Thursday, Gov. Chris Sununu said that the two-day cold snap goes beyond toughing out cold weather.

"What we're likely to encounter over the next 36-48 hours is going to be really unprecedented. It really is something we're taking extremely seriously statewide. These temperatures can become life-threatening in a very short amount of time," Sununu said during a briefing.

Frostbite is possible within 15 minutes when wind chill values are near minus 25 degrees. At minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit, hypothermia can occur in about 10 minutes, the governor pointed out.

Expected "apparent temperatures" on Friday 2/3/23
Expected "apparent temperatures" on Friday 2/3/23 (NWS Gray)

Shelter and Warming Centers Available

Sununu said those in need of shelter or a place to keep warm can call 2-1-1 to find the nearest location to them.

Individuals and families in need of temporary shelter to keep warm are encouraged to contact 2-1-1 to locate the closest site that is open and available to them.

Locations on the Seacoast are:

Rockingham County:

  • Seacoast Family Promise: 27 Hampton Road, Exeter
  • New Generation: 568 Portsmouth Ave, Greenland
  • Cross Roads House: 600 Lafayette Road, Portsmouth

Stafford County:

  • My Friend’s Place: 368 Washington Street, Dover, NH 03820

Other cold weather advice includes:

• Stay informed and monitor local weather reports. Sign up for NH Alerts at
• Stay indoors and limit travel as much as possible. If travel is necessary, prepare a winter emergency kit with warm clothes, boots, blankets, flashlights, extra batteries, food, and water.
• Wear several layers of loose-fitting clothing when outdoors, including hat, scarf, and gloves. If clothing becomes wet, remove it immediately.
• Protect people at high-risk by providing warm clothes and blankets and return indoors when shivering.
• Bring animals indoors.
• In the event of a power outage, use battery-powered flashlights rather than candles, or open flames for light, and keep generators at least 10 feet away from homes with the engine exhaust directed away from windows and doors.
• Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms to ensure they are functioning properly.
• Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from heating equipment, like a furnace, fireplace, wood stove, or portable space heater.
• Plug space heaters directly into an outlet, not a power strip.
• Never use an oven as a heat source.

The gusty winds could also bring down power lines, which the utilities say they are prepared for.

"With gusty winds and added demand for power, we’ll be keeping a close eye on our system and will respond to outages as quickly as possible. Stay inside, stay safe and look out for your furry friends too," the New Hampshire Electric Co-op said in a tweet.

Central Maine Power said they are also adding additional coverage at its service centers through the weekend.

The extreme cold will quickly leave the area as temperatures are expected to moderate back to near 40 on Sunday.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

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