Several districts began announcing Thursday morning that school would be cancelled for the day due to extreme cold and some hazardous road conditions.
"Due to weather conditions and drifting snow on roads, Pequea Valley will be closed for all staff and students on Thursday, January 31. Stay warm!" the district tweeted around 7:15 a.m.
The cancellations came amidst a forecast high near 15 degrees with wind chill values as low as minus 10, according to the National Weather Service.
Wednesday evening numerous districts had already announced two-hour delays for Thursday.
A few stuck to that call Thursday morning: Conestoga Valley, Lampeter-Strasburg and Manheim Township school districts.
Conestoga Valley superintendent Dave Zuilkoski tweeted, "I know it's cold, but we DO HAVE SCHOOL TODAY, so dress warm!!" The district has a two-hour delay.
Temperatures fell to minus zero in several spots around the county overnight. At 7:30 a.m., readings ranged from 3 degrees in Lancaster city to minus 15 in Adamstown, according to Eric Horst, director of Millersville University's Weather Information Center.
At 7:30am, this is about as cold as we'll get... w/ Lanc City down to +3 (urban heat island effect) while it's -13 just outside Adamstown. Many rural locations across Lanco are btwn -3 and -10. Similar to January 1, 2018...when the official low at MU was -4. pic.twitter.com/y3UG9H0srK— E. Horst, MU WIC (@MUweather) January 31, 2019
Horst said minus 4 degrees was the official low at Millersville University. The low dropped to minus 4 at MU on Jan. 1, 2018.
A wind chill advisory remains in effect from the National Weather Service until noon.
The advisory says to limit time outside, dress in layers and cover exposed skin. Cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes, according to the weather service.
PPL Electric Utilities reported over 2,600 customers lost power around 6:30 a.m. in the Bowsmansville area near the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Power was restored to about 700 customers by 7:30 a.m., according to PPL spokeswoman Jess Long Baker.
Baker said PPL crews are investigating the case, which may be an equipment failure.
"We're working as quickly and safely as possible to get people back into power. We know it's really cold today," she said.
A gradual warming trend is on the way, according to forecasts.
By Tuesday, the high could get into the mid-50s, according to the National Weather Service.
Temperatures will gradually increase until then, the weather service forecasts.
- Friday: High in the mid-20s, with light snow between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
- Friday night: Cloudy skies and a low in the teens.
- Saturday: Partly sunny skies with a high in the mid-30s.
- Sunday: Partly sunny and a high in the mid-40s.
- Monday: Cloudy, high in upper 40s.
- Tuesday: Cloudy, high in upper 50s.
Cold now...but a big time thaw is in store. High temperatures will increase into the 40s by Sunday across all of PA, and remain in the 40s (& 50s SE) through Wednesday. If we can get through the cold the next couple days, we're in store for a big treat next week! #PAwx pic.twitter.com/OEzZgT9cUg— NWS State College (@NWSStateCollege) January 30, 2019