PITTSFIELD -- After a bone-chilling early morning low of minus 8 at Pittsfield Municipal Airport -- the coldest reading in more than a year -- temperatures today will struggle to reach 10 above despite bright sunshine and deep-blue skies.

The polar air mass that has enveloped the Berkshires, the Northeast region and all the way to northern Florida, has yet to ease its grip.

With winds expected to kick up Thursday afternoon, the National Weather Service has posted a wind chill advisory until 6 p.m. for "dangerously cold" conditions.

Wind chill readings could plummet to 15 below or even 25 below, the government forecasters stated, with northwest winds up to 15 mph with higher gusts, posing the risk of hypothermia and frostbite for unprotected folks outdoors.

Early morning lows on Friday are expected to be in the same ballpark as Thursday's, with very modest improvement expected over the weekend before a more significant warmup next Tuesday and Wednesday, with readings above 40 and a chance of rain showers.

A light snowfall of an inch or two may graze South Berkshire on Friday night, according to the forecasters.

The county's coldest spot before dawn on Thursday was reported by a weather observer in Otis, with 14 below.

Other unofficial below-zero readings reported by the National Weather Service early Thursday include:

Pittsfield (rural): -12

Stamford (Vt.): -11

Great Barrington: -10


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Lanesborough: -10

Adams: -9

South Egremont: -9

East Windsor-Peru: -8

Becket: -8

Pittsfield airport: -8

Pittsfield (downtown): -7

Williamstown: -7

North Adams (airport): -6

Sandisfield: -6

Great Barrington: -5

Pittsfield (BCC): -4

Cheshire: -4

Otis: -1