Friday will be the coldest day of the winter so far. With high temperatures in the Keweenaw struggling to get into the teens and a stiff northwest wind sustained at 15 miles per hour, the wind chill is not expected to reach zero. According to the wind chill chart from the National Weather Service, frostbite in those conditions will not occur for at least 30 minutes, but skiers, snowmobilers, and statue builders should be careful.
Frostbite is the common term for a potentially serious condition that occurs when exposed skin tissue actually freezes. It is most common on the face, ear lobes, fingers, and toes. Frostbite is affected by wind because brisk gusts blow away heat produced by the body to warm its extremities before any benefits can be felt.
Hypothermia is another cold weather condition that can be fatal in the most severe of circumstances. Prolonged exposure to cold conditions actually causes the body’s core temperature to drop below safe levels. The Centers for Disease Control says hypothermia can lead to the following symptoms.
-Exhaustion or feeling very tired
For those who need to be outside for an extensive period of time today, dress in layers and keep exposed skin to a minimum. Do not drink alcohol in excess as it is a depressant and keeps the body from recognizing signs of frostbite and hypothermia until they have already set in.