windchill2
Cold Weather Tragedy In Duluth, MN & Hypothermia Related To Extreme Cold Dec 11, 2013

We’ve seen some tremendously cold temperatures lately in sections of the northern United States.  Crane Lake in International Falls, MN, reached to -33° for a morning low yesterday, and was the coldest temperature in the nation.  Park Rapids, MN, was -29° this morning, also the coldest in the nation.

This after a recent cold snap also in northern Minnesota that has led to a tragic situation involving a young lady & college student.  Essentially on her way home from a night out with friends, she ended up at the wrong house and passed out.

The temperature that night reached down to -18° and she ended up spending the night outside, now suffering from horrendous side effects related to frostbite.

You can find more information from our affiliate KARE in Minneapolis by clicking here.

That is a horrible situation, and our thoughts go out to that young lady and we wish her the best possible scenario for her recovery.

The cold continues, however, and this morning’s extreme cold combined with that recent story got me thinking.

I was walking around for a few minutes with wind chills near -28° (estimated), while wearing a face mask, a thick ear-flap hat, a thick pea coat, winter boots, etc.  The only exposed spots?  A few square inches on my face.  Within minutes those few square inches were stinging from the cold.  Gradually, the cold penetrated my typically stout jacket.

So this begs the question – how much cold can the body withstand?

We’ve all seen the wind chill charts (I assume), but we’ll post the National Weather Service’s chart right here:

 

 

Looking at that chart, I’m thankful to have only been outside for a few minutes.  -28° wind chill values can get you frostbite within 30 minutes.

What about hypothermia, though?  What temperature does your body have to get to for that to take place?  What are the symptoms?

Let’s start with symptoms, these are from the CDC:

Early Symptoms
  • Shivering
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of coordination
  • Confusion and disorientation
Late Symptoms
  • No shivering
  • Blue skin
  • Dilated pupils
  • Slowed pulse and breathing
  • Loss of consciousness

So what about temperatures?

According to MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia here is how hypothermia is defined: Hypothermia is dangerously low body temperature, below 95 °F

Here are some key “Do Nots” according to the same article:

  • Do NOT assume that someone found lying motionless in the cold is already dead.
  • Do NOT use direct heat (such as hot water, a heating pad, or a heat lamp) to warm the person.
  • Do NOT give the person alcohol!

Things to keep in mind as we wait for warmer weather to move into large stretches of the nation.

 

WeatherNation Meteorologist Aaron Shaffer @ashafferWNTV

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tweets

Tropics Update: #Gaston Likely to Strengthen to Hurricane – #Kay Barely Holding OnDetails:https://t.co/6MspmItDUO https://t.co/SfjLOxoybu

14 minutes ago by WeatherNation

LIVE: President Obama visits Louisiana to address historic flooding disaster.Watch: https://t.co/nDj2tg6uoZ https://t.co/e1GSsEr5z8

2 hours ago by WeatherNation

#CedarFire – Water bombers picking up water from #LakeIsabella to battle blaze. #CAwx🎥4ndypanda/Instagram https://t.co/AN0IPoyjKV

3 hours ago by WeatherNation

EF-1 Tornado Confirmed in Massachusetts - WeatherNationDetails: https://t.co/XvGKLZj7YI https://t.co/hEYo0cxW2Z

4 hours ago by WeatherNation

#Rain showers today in Anchorage, but northwest #Alaska will pick up 4 to 8 inches of #snow! https://t.co/nP1QjLz4yt

6 hours ago by WeatherNation

Here's the latest #SPC outlook for #severe #weather today! https://t.co/6ZG04IAzgz

7 hours ago by WeatherNation

Morning #storms strike Nebraska! The Heartland is looking at #severeweather the next two days. https://t.co/6nAc76tb39

7 hours ago by WeatherNation

Crazy video of a slurry drop on the #SpokaneComplex #Fire! #WAwx https://t.co/NnxXmPgCQa

8 hours ago by WeatherNation

A shocking shot of #NYC during last week's storms! Storm clouds, #lightning and skyline. What more can you ask for? https://t.co/MKl2iQxwEk

9 hours ago by WeatherNation

Temp Check! Here's a look at Tuesday's high #temperature forecast for the Lower 48. Have a great day! https://t.co/njWraDdY2b

11 hours ago by WeatherNation

Severe weather ramps up Tuesday. More: https://t.co/yYkL6ZL3VI #IAwx #NEwx https://t.co/dFtFlOrCzS

16 hours ago by WeatherNation

What causes a haboob? Meteorologist Chris Bianchi explains.Watch: https://t.co/q0TqO2B0Kg https://t.co/u3jPhsUs9e

16 hours ago by WeatherNation

Heavy rain is creating for flash flooding in areas of #Arizona this evening. Video: Kim Harasti-Flynn https://t.co/HBVTmOyD5Y

17 hours ago by WeatherNation

JUST IN: At 7:47PM PDT, San Bernardino law enforcement reported vehicles being washed off the road from flash flood https://t.co/zaT2EkOrgq

17 hours ago by WeatherNation

The #ReyFire fire has now charred 23,546 acres and is 20% contained. More: https://t.co/8ttHMT0Zmc https://t.co/h50MYnua7s

18 hours ago by WeatherNation

BREAKING: Tropical Storm #Gaston forms in the Atlantic. Expected to stay out to sea: https://t.co/cB0z7SnWdF

18 hours ago by WeatherNation

Here it comes! The view as a haboob moved into Laveen, #Arizona Sunday. Video: Kathleen Plasko https://t.co/NjHnRFw4jb

19 hours ago by WeatherNation
Follow Us