Frigid air and brisk winds will combine to create dangerously cold wind chills in the High Plains. The National Weather Service has issued Wind Chill Advisories that are in effect through mid Tuesday. Wind chill values are expected to range from 25 below zero to 35 below zero. The coldest wind chills will occur early morning. Impacts that can occur are frostbite and hypothermia if precautions are not taken. Frostbite can occur in as little as 30 min to exposed skin which is why it is so important to layer up in these areas.
To make sure you stay safe this winter season, here are some cold weather safety tips that you should keep in mind:
Listen to the weather forecast
- Check the Environment Canada weather forecast before going out in the cold.
- If conditions are hazardous, a wind chill warning will be issued.
- If the wind chill is very cold, exposed skin can freeze in minutes.
- Groups and organizations should develop a plan in advance, to ensure that safety concerns are addressed when the wind chill is high. For example, schools could hold recess indoors, outside workers could schedule warm-up breaks, and those involved in winter recreation could reduce the amount of time they spend outdoors.
- Wear layers of warm clothing, with an outer jacket that is wind-resistant. Mittens, boots and a hat are also important. (We lose a large portion of our body heat from the head.)
- When the wind chill is high, try to cover as much exposed skin as possible.
- Wear a scarf, neck tube or face mask.
- Check frequently for signs of frostbite.
- Get out of the wind.
- When wind chill is very cold, limit the time you spend outside.
- Wet clothing chills the body rapidly.
- Remove outer layers of clothing or open your coat if you are sweating.
- Walking or running will help keep you warm by generating body heat.
Know your limits
- Some people are more susceptible to the cold, particularly children, the elderly and those with circulation problems.
- The use of alcohol, tobacco and certain medications will increase your susceptibility to cold.