WFO Denver/Boulder

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GOODLAND KS
600 AM MDT THU OCT 27 2011

...EXTREME WIND CHILL...POTENTIALLY LIFE-THREATENING AND OFTEN OVERLOOKED...

THE COMBINATION OF WIND AND LOW TEMPERATURE IN WINTER CAN BE DEADLY. THE WIND CHILL INDEX 
HELPS YOU DETERMINE WHEN DANGEROUS CONDITIONS DEVELOP THAT COULD LEAD TO FROSTBITE OR 
HYPOTHERMIA.  IT TAKES INTO ACCOUNT HEAT LOSS FROM THE HUMAN BODY TO ITS SURROUNDINGS 
DURING COLD AND WINDY WEATHER.  THE CALCULATION UTILIZES WIND SPEED IN MILES PER HOUR AND 
TEMPERATURE IN DEGREES FAHRENHEIT.  FOR EXAMPLE...A TEMPERATURE OF MINUS 5 DEGREES 
OCCURRING WITH A 20 MPH WIND GIVES A WIND CHILL NEAR MINUS 30 DEGREES.  THIS MEANS THAT 
YOUR BODY WILL LOSE HEAT AT THE SAME RATE AS IT WOULD IF THE AIR TEMPERATURE WERE MINUS 
30 DEGREES WITH NO WIND.  WIND CHILL VALUES NEAR MINUS 25 DEGREES MEAN THAT FROSTBITE IS 
POSSIBLE WITHIN 15 MINUTES.

FROSTBITE FIRST AFFECTS EXPOSED BODY TISSUE WHERE BLOOD CIRCULATION MAY BE
LIMITED SUCH AS YOUR FINGERS...TOES...NOSE AND EARS.  TO MINIMIZE FROSTBITE...MAKE SURE 
ALL BODY PARTS ARE WELL COVERED.  WHEN FROSTBITE STARTS...FEELING IS LOST IN THE AFFECTED 
AREA AND THE FROZEN TISSUE WILL TAKE ON A WHITE OR PALE APPEARANCE.  IF YOU SUSPECT YOU 
ARE EXPERIENCING FROSTBITE...HOLD THE FROSTBITTEN AREA CLOSELY AGAINST WARM SKIN TO 
RETURN BLOOD FLOW AND WARMTH TO THE AFFECTED AREA.

HYPOTHERMIA IS A DANGEROUSLY LOW BODY TEMPERATURE AND IS THE MOST COMMON WINTER WEATHER 
KILLER. WHEN YOU HEAR OF A HIKER...CLIMBER...HUNTER OR A STRANDED TRAVELER PERISHING FROM 
COLD WEATHER EXPOSURE...HYPOTHERMIA WAS THE CAUSE.  MOST PEOPLE ARE SURPRISED TO LEARN 
THAT HYPOTHERMIA DEATHS CAN OCCUR WITH TEMPERATURES BETWEEN 30 AND 50 DEGREES.  IF YOU OR 
YOUR CLOTHING ARE WET...THEN HYPOTHERMIA BECOMES EVEN MORE LIKELY.  

WARNING SIGNS OF HYPOTHERMIA INCLUDE UNCONTROLLABLE SHIVERING...MEMORY 
LOSS...DISORIENTATION...SLURRED SPEECH AND DROWSINESS.  IMMEDIATE MEDICAL
ATTENTION SHOULD BE GIVEN TO VICTIMS SUSPECTED OF SUFFERING FROM HYPOTHERMIA.  IF NO HELP 
IS AVAILABLE...THE VICTIM SHOULD BE WARMED SLOWLY WITH WARM LIQUIDS ALONG WITH DRY 
CLOTHING AND BLANKETS.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WILL ISSUE WIND CHILL ADVISORIES AND WARNINGS WHEN A DEADLY 
COMBINATION OF WIND AND COLD AIR THREATEN.  TO LEARN MORE ABOUT WIND CHILL...VISIT THE 
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE INTERNET SITE USING LOWER CASE LETTERS: 
WEATHER.GOV/OM/WINDCHILL.

WHEN COLD WEATHER THREATENS...FOLLOW THESE TIPS FOR SURVIVAL...

STAY DRY...WET CLOTHING RESULTS IN MUCH FASTER HEAT LOSS FROM YOUR BODY.  WEAR WATERPROOF 
INSULATED BOOTS.

STAY COVERED...WEAR MITTENS OR GLOVES AND WEAR A HAT. AT LEAST HALF OF YOUR BODY HEAT IS 
LOST IF YOUR HEAD IS NOT COVERED.

DRESS LAYERED...TRAPPED AIR BETWEEN LOOSE FITTING CLOTHING HELPS TO INSULATE.

STAY INFORMED...HAVE A PORTABLE NOAA WEATHER RADIO ALL-HAZARDS TO KEEP YOU UP-TO-DATE 
WITH THE LATEST FORECASTS AND WARNINGS.  USE WIND CHILL TEMPERATURES TO GUIDE YOU IN 
DRESSING PROPERLY FOR THE OUTDOORS.  ON VERY COLD DAYS...MINIMIZE YOUR EXPOSURE TO THE 
OUTDOORS IF POSSIBLE.

$$

DAVID FLOYD
WARNING COORDINATION METEOROLOGIST
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE GOODLAND KS

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