A frigid arctic air mass will remain in place across the region through today as Canadian high pressure continues to influence the Northern Plains. High temperatures this afternoon will be in the single digits and teens above zero throughout the area. These frigid temperatures coupled with northwest winds at 5 to 10 mph will result in dangerous wind chill values 20 to 30 below zero this morning east of Interstate 29. Stay safe and be prepared for bitterly cold temperatures and dangerous wind chills. Also be sure to protect your animals and other outdoor interests exposed to these cold temperatures.
Watch for signs of frostbite or hypothermia when outdoors during extreme cold weather.
Frostbite is a severe reaction to cold exposure that can permanently damage its victims. A loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance in fingers, toes, or nose and ear lobes are symptoms of frostbite. In fact, research (P.Tikuisis, 2004) has shown that uncovered fingers can freeze up to 8 times faster than a human cheek, and the nose can freeze 3 times faster. This illustrates the importance of keeping fingers and parts of your face (ear lobes, nose) well covered in extreme cold weather.
Hypothermia is a condition brought on when the body temperature drops to less than 95 degrees (F). Symptoms of hypothermia include uncontrollable shivering, slow speech, memory lapses, frequent stumbling, as well as drowsiness, and exhaustion.
If frostbite or hypothermia is suspected, begin warming the person slowly and seek immediate medical assistance. Warm the person's trunk first. Use your own body heat to help. Arms and legs should be warmed last because stimulation of the limbs can drive cold blood toward the heart and lead to heart failure. Put the person in dry clothing and wrap their entire body in a blanket.
Never give a frostbite or hypothermia victim something with caffeine in it (like coffee or tea) or alcohol. Caffeine, a stimulant, can cause the heart to beat faster and hasten the effects the cold has on the body. Alcohol, a depressant, can slow the heart and also hasten the ill effects of cold body temperatures.
For additional information on the coming arctic outbreak invading the region, feel free to click on the links below:
Monday Morning Wind Chill High Temperatures Today