Arctic air will bring dangerous wind chills Thursday morning

By: Matt Hoffman Email
By: Matt Hoffman Email

In little more than a week's time, we have gone from enjoying 50 degree January weather to now bracing for the coldest night this winter in the Chippewa valley.

Mail carrier Corey Grotte works in every kind of weather but he hasn't enjoyed the dirty trick Mother Nature has thrown his way this January.

"Enjoyed the 50s I was back in shorts for a couple days then the next day was back in long johns and a coat and hat," says Grotte.

His key to staying warm is dressing in layers. "I personally start with cotton closest to the skin and then i got a wool sweater on today and then an outer shell to try and keep the wind off me."

He said he's come along way in preparing for the cold weather. He got a little desperate during his first winter back in 1999.

"The funniest thing i ever did, there was a heat vent somebody had the dryer on, and I had my hands by the vent warming up my hands because the gloves I was wearing didn't help much."

But there's nothing funny about dangerous 20 to 30 below wind chills that can lead to frostbite within 30 minutes according to the national weather service.

"individuals want to dress as warmly as they can and use good sense with not staying outside too long and coming indoors where it is warmer," says Dr. Alicia Arnold. She explains if you have frostbite or hypothermia it's best to see your medical professional where you can be treated properly.

Grotte says it's times likes this where his customers are more like family. “On really, really cold days you'll have customers come out with a hot cup of coffee for you. Here take this with you! So it's real nice to see that people actually care."

With wind chills expected to be as low as 20 to 30 degrees below zero it is important to stay safe from frostbite and hypothermia.

Dr. Alicia Arnold says hypothermia sets in when the bodies internal temperatures goes down to 95 degrees. Symptoms include constant shivering and confusion. Children and the elderly are most at risk. If you notice these symptoms it is important to get medical help right away.
The same advice goes for frostbite which occurs when blood flow is interrupted due to frozen tissue. Dr. Arnold says it's important to seek a medical professional and not try and treat yourself.

One mistake people often make with frostbite is they re-warm themselves with a direct heat source such as a stove. You need to be careful with this because sometimes you tissue can be so numb you may be unable to feel the heat from the stove and it's possible to get burned."

We've been lucky this year. It's taken a while to get this kind of cold weather across much of the Midwest. The Twin Cities is forecast to go below zero for the first time this winter by Thursday morning. That means Thursday will be the latest ever in recorded history for the Twin Cities to fall below zero in a winter. The old record was Wednesday’s date.

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