Springfield Soup Kitchen provides warming center as bitter cold arrives

Winter continues to keep the area on its toes, as bitter wind chills arrived overnight and a significant storm system is on the horizon early next week.

Wild swings have been common this month, as a 61-degree day Jan. 8 was followed by a 9-inch snowfall Jan. 12-13, and high temperatures this week have ranged from 11 Monday to 51 Wednesday.

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WHIO Storm Center 7 Chief Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs said today will see none of those swings — just cold.

“After starting in single-digit temperatures, highs will only get to the low teens, so wind chills will be at or below zero all day, until we get into (Friday) evening when winds turn more southerly and calm down a little bit,” Vrydaghs said.

The National Weather Service issued a wind chill advisory from 3 a.m. through 1 p.m. Friday for the central and northern Miami Valley. Vrydaghs said wind chills in some areas were expected to go as low as 15-below zero, increasing frostbite risks for people outside as little as 15 minutes.

With temperatures dipping into the single digits and below, more people are seeking warmth at local shelters and once again, Springfield’s Soup Kitchen will be providing a warming center from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday according to operator Fred Stegner.

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“We are open to all and especially the homeless or those without living conditions,” he said. “People can come in and get warm and grab a hot cup of coffee.”

Springfield is directing those seeking shelter from the bitter cold to contact the Interfaith Hospitality Network at 937-325-8154.

“There are non-profit community partners in Springfield who provide shelter for those in need, particularly when temperatures drop to dangerous levels,” said Community Information Director Valerie Lough. “We also urge citizens to check on their elderly or disabled neighbors and relatives to ensure their safety during the cold temperatures.”

Citizens may request a welfare check by calling the Springfield Police Division at 937-324-7685.

The weekend will be relatively quiet, with some snow showers possible, but very little accumulation, according to Vrydaghs. Highs are expected to be around 30 degrees both days.

The weather pattern will get active again Monday, as an Alberta Clipper low-pressure system dives down from Canada.

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Whatever snow does arrive Monday is likely to stay, as midweek temperatures are expected to stay in the single digits or even below zero.

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