The National Weather Service says the coldest air mass of the winter may hit the Eastern U.S. this weekend.

A wind chill warning has been issued for much of Massachusetts from 4 p.m. Saturday through noon Sunday. 

The bitter cold is expected to settle in over the next several days but temperatures may rise by Monday.

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The National Weather Service said hazards include "potential life-threatening wind chills and near-record cold air temperatures."

Wind chill readings between 20 and 30 below zero are expected.

Wind chills this cold can bring on frostbite in as little as 10 minutes.  Winds could gust up to 45 mph inland and 50 mph on Cape Cod.

Artic Blast

Outdoor exposure should be limited. 

State officials say they’ll be monitoring dangerous cold and wind chills over the President’s Day weekend.

The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency is encouraging people to wear proper clothing outside to prevent the Arctic air from causing frostbite and hypothermia. The agency is also warning of carbon monoxide dangers from alternative heating sources and cautioning against using blow torches to thaw frozen pipes.

Keolis, the company that operates the MBTA’s commuter rail system, says it might leave some locomotives running overnight to minimize cold weather equipment problems.

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Some cities are opening shelters to provide temporary shelter for those who need it.

(Copyright (c) 2015 Sunbeam Television. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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