Very cold wind chills are expected. Environment Canada is sending out the warning again today as extreme wind chills are occurring over West Central Saskatchewan. Temperatures are in the minus thirties with winds 5 to 15 km/h giving wind chills of minus 40 to minus 45. These values will continue today and tomorrow. Conditions are expected to improve on Tuesday as more seasonable temperatures will enter our area. The Arctic ridge of high pressure is causing this and it creates a risk to health including frost bite and hypothermia.
Hypothermia is being cold over a prolonged period of time, causing a drop in body temperature. Your normal body temperature is 37C.
- Mild hypothermia is when your body temperature falls to 35C and you'll experience shivering, numb hands and feet.
- Moderate hypothermia is listed as 35C - 32.2C with sluggish movement and confusion.
- Severe hypothermia is when you get to 32.2C down to 25.6C, and you will have blue skin, can't walk, low pulse rate and low respiration.
- Body temp 25.6 to 23.9 will result in death due to hypothermia.
Frostbite is a severe condition where skin is frozen. It will also damage underlying tissue like muscle fat and bone. Your skin will appear waxy and white. It will be hard to the touch; no sensation - the area is numb.
Frostnip is a mild form of frostbite where only the skin freezes. It will appear yellowish or white but feels soft to the touch. You will feel a burning sensation.
Body Reaction to the Cold
Your nose runs. In trying to warm up cold air on the way to the lungs extra blood flow leads to more mucus production.
We shiver. Muscle contractions produce heat, so when we get cold we shiver.
Fingers are stiff. 12C is the ideal air temperature for your hands, 8C and below increases sensitivity.
Fingers and toes. The body will favour internal organs, and reduces blood flow to the extremities like your hands and feet.
Eyes don't freeze. Eyeballs are inside your head, which your body works hard to keep warm. And tears are salty!
Ears. At greatest risk because there are no major muscles to produce heat.
Cheeks. Turn red when skin temperature falls below 10C.
You gotta go! You need to urinate more when you get cold. Exposure to cold causes reduction on blood flow to skin's surface which reduces overall blood volume. Body's response is to reduce fluid volume by urinating.
Tips for tonight
- Dress in layers
- Avoid alcohol
- Stay dry
These tips are being offered to those who are headed to Times Square in New York City for the ball drop tonight. The New Year's Eve event might be the coldest one in history. The brutal weather has cancelled events across the country tonight and for New Year's day. But not for New York City where people are expected to start gathering 9 hours before the event.
Ottawa has reduced events for the Canada 150 celebration of New Year's. Calgary has cancelled the outdoor portion but will continue with an indoor family dance. West Central Saskatchewan features a dance in Elrose and Landis. Both events are still on.