WEATHER ALERT: Dangerous arctic temperatures move into area

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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- Old man winter is sending the Chippewa Valley dangerous cold that's dropping thermometers well below zero.

WEAU 13 News talked with Eau Claire County Emergency Management about what you should know before stepping out into the threatening elements.

Forecasters predict a possible wind chill on Monday of -35 degrees.

“With a little bit of preparedness, you can minimize the effects of cold weather for you and your family,” said Tom Hurley, Eau Claire County’s Emergency Management Coordinator.

He said that if you have to be outside, you'll want to limit physical activity and cover yourself from head to toe.

“Hypothermia and frostbite are serious medical conditions,” Hurley said.

You only have to be out in the cold for 15 minutes to show signs of hypothermia.

Some of those symptoms are uncontrollable shivering, slurred speech and confusion.

And then there's Jack Frost nipping at your nose.

“Frostbite is irreversible, which is a critical thing about it. It won't get better. Its signs are red or very white skin, frozen skin, skin that's cold to the touch,” Hurley said.

Frostbite can occur on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes.

If you show any of these symptoms, you'll need medical attention immediately.

“Once you start showing signs of hypothermia or frost bite or general exposure, you're really behind the game,” Hurley said.

Skywarn 13 Meteorologist Matt Hoffman said Monday will be one for the history books.

“We're expecting highs to stay below zero really the entire day. And that's the first time we've seen that in Eau Claire for over 3 years. In La Crosse it's been four years,” Hoffman said.

He said the big chill is making its way from the North Pole.

The Skywarn 13 team has been looking at forecast models, cloud cover, and winds to predict what will happen in this blast.

“The interesting thing about this arctic blast is that if we had more of a snow pack, we would be talking about much colder temperatures,” Hoffman said.

Temperatures are expected to snap back to normal for this time of year later in the week.

Stay with WEAU 13 News for updates on this weather situation.

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