PDT Staff Writer
Cold? Don’t look now, but it’s about to get even colder. If you don’t have to go out over the next few days, you might want to consider curling up under the electric blanket with a good book. According to the National Weather Service, wind chills could plunge to as low as 25 to 35 below Monday into Tuesday in our region.
The NWS Saturday issued a wind chill watch to be in effect from late Sunday night through Tuesday afternoon. The hazards of a wind chill watch center around arctic air spreading into the region last Sunday night. Those conditions will remain through Tuesday. Winds out of the west at 10 to 20 miles per hour will be accompanied by gusts up to 30 miles per hour during that period.
Temperatures will range from 0 to 8-above late Sunday night and Monday; from 8 to 15-below Monday night; then 3-below to 10-above on Tuesday. What makes these conditions so dangerous is the fact that the wind chill readings will be 0 to 10-below Sunday night, dropping 25 to 35-below Monday afternoon into Tuesday morning.
The frigid conditions will be dangerous to those venturing outside. Prolonged exposure may cause frostbite.
A wind chill watch means conditions are favorable for hazardous wind chill conditions in and close to the watch area. Details are available at www.weather.gov/iln as well as on the National Weather Service’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
When exposed to very cold temperatures, skin and underlying tissues may freeze, resulting in frostbite. The areas most likely to be affected by frostbite are your hands, feet, nose and ears.
According to the Mayo Clinic website, if your skin looks white or grayish-yellow, is very cold and has a hard or waxy feel, you may have frostbite. Your skin may also itch, burn or feel numb. Severe or deep frostbite can cause blistering and hardening. As the area thaws, the flesh becomes red and painful.
- Gradually warming the affected skin is key to treating frostbite. To do so:Protect your skin from further exposure. If you’re outside, warm frostbitten hands by tucking them into your armpits. Protect your face, nose or ears by covering the area with dry, gloved hands. Don’t rub the affected area and never rub snow on frostbitten skin.
- Get out of the cold. Once you’re indoors, remove wet clothes.Gradually warm frostbitten areas. Put frostbitten hands or feet in warm water — 104 to 107.6 F (40 to 42 C). Wrap or cover other areas in a warm blanket. Don’t use direct heat, such as a stove, heat lamp, fireplace or heating pad, because these can cause burns before you feel them on your numb skin.
- Don’t walk on frostbitten feet or toes if possible. This further damages the tissue.
- If there’s any chance the affected areas will freeze again, don’t thaw them. If they’re already thawed, wrap them up so that they don’t become frozen again.
- Get emergency medical help. If numbness or sustained pain remains during warming or if blisters develop, seek medical attention.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.