EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — After a mostly mild and uneventful first weeks of winter, Southern New England is getting hit with a brutal, albeit brief, reminder of what season we’re in.

An arctic front is causing temperatures to plummet, which combined with increasing winds will create dangerously cold conditions by late Friday night. A Wind Chill Warning is in effect through 10 a.m. Saturday, with wind chills of -20 to -30 degrees expected.

People are urged to stay indoors if possible. Warming centers are available across Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts for anyone who needs temporary shelter from the cold.

Those who must venture outdoors should limit their time in the cold, dress in layers, and cover any exposed skin. Serious conditions like hypothermia can set in within minutes with wind chills as low as -30 degrees.

And don’t forget about our four-legged friends. If it’s too cold for you to be outside, it’s too cold for dogs and cats, too. Experts warn not to leave them outdoors for long—even in the car—and to make sure they have a warm place to sleep indoors.

With temperatures this low, it’s also important to make sure your home is set up to handle the frigid conditions. There are steps you can take to prevent your pipes from freezing, and ways you can warm up your home without breaking the bank. However, anyone using a space heater should make sure they’re doing so safely.

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