Frostbite In As Little As 10 Minutes As Bitter Cold Settles Across Central New York
Dangerously cold temperatures have come to Central New York, bringing the risk of frostbite along with them.
The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Chill Warning that lasts until 6pm today (Thursday) for all of Central New York.
Temperatures are expected to fall to -20 to -35 as a result of wind chill. In temperatures that low, frostbite can set in quickly - sometimes in as little as 10 minutes.
It's important that you take steps to prevent frostbite. The Mayo Clinic advises the following steps:
- Limit time you're outdoors in cold, wet or windy weather. Pay attention to weather forecasts and wind chill readings. In very cold, windy weather, exposed skin can develop frostbite in a matter of minutes.
- Dress in several layers of loose, warm clothing. Air trapped between the layers of clothing acts as insulation against the cold. Wear windproof and waterproof outer garments to protect against wind, snow and rain. Choose undergarments that wick moisture away from your skin. Change out of wet clothing — particularly gloves, hats and socks — as soon as possible.
- Wear a hat or headband that fully covers your ears. Heavy woolen or windproof materials make the best headwear for cold protection.
- Wear mittens rather than gloves. Mittens provide better protection. Or try a thin pair of glove liners made of a wicking material (such as polypropylene) under a pair of heavier gloves or mittens.
- Wear socks and sock liners that fit well, wick moisture and provide insulation.You might also try hand and foot warmers. Be sure the foot warmers don't make your boots too tight, restricting blood flow.
- Watch for signs of frostbite. Early signs of frostbite include red or pale skin, prickling, and numbness. Seek warm shelter if you notice signs of frostbite.
- Plan to protect yourself. When traveling in cold weather, carry emergency supplies and warm clothing in case you become stranded. If you'll be in remote territory, tell others your route and expected return date.
- Keep moving. Exercise can get the blood flowing and help you stay warm, but don't do it to the point of exhaustion.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the signs of frostbite include:
- At first, cold skin and a prickling feeling
- Red, white, bluish-white or grayish-yellow skin
- Hard or waxy-looking skin
- Clumsiness due to joint and muscle stiffness
- Blistering after rewarming, in severe cases
...WIND CHILL WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 6 PM EST THIS
* WHAT...Dangerously cold wind chills. Wind chills of 20 below to
35 below zero. Lowest wind chills will occur this morning.
* WHERE...All of Northeast Pennsylvania and Central New York.
* WHEN...Until 6 PM EST this evening.
* ADDITIONAL DETAILS...The dangerously cold wind chills could
cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes.
A Wind Chill Warning means the combination of very cold air and
the wind will create dangerously low wind chill values. Frostbite
can occur quickly and even hypothermia or death if precautions
are not taken.