Unpredictable weather in recent years is a good reminder to be prepared for the mercury dropping.
In January 2019, a mass of arctic air descended into the middle and eastern portions of North America, causing temperatures to plummet. The temperature in Chicago, for example, was a bitter 23 degrees below zero on Jan. 30, making the city colder than parts of Antarctica on that day. That kind of cold presents a unique set of challenges.
These tips can help you during periods of extremely cold weather.
Care for yourself
You know how to deal with cold weather—and even very cold weather—but what about extreme temperatures that threaten your health and safety?
Wind chill: In cold weather, your body boosts heat production to help maintain normal body temperature. But wind draws the warmth from your skin and speeds up heat loss, which creates life-threatening conditions. Example: A 20-mph wind when it’s 5 degrees below zero creates a wind chill of 29 degrees below zero—dangerously cold.
Frostbite and hypothermia: Frostbite—the freezing of skin and the tissue beneath it—usually affects extremities like fingers, ears and the tip of the nose first. In extremely cold weather, exposed skin can get frostbite in minutes, and prolonged exposure can lead to life-threatening hypothermia—a dangerous drop in body temperature.