Extremely cold air comes every winter in Wisconsin. Exposure to extreme cold can cause frostbite or hypothermia, and has the potential to be life-threatening. Anyone can suffer from cold-related health issues, but some people are at greater risk than others. They include older adults, young children, those who are sick, and those without adequate shelter. Being prepared is your best defense against extremely cold weather.
TERMS USED DURING EXTREME COLD
Calculates wind speed at an average height of five feet, and temperature.
WIND CHILL ADVISORY
Wind chill index between -15°F and -25°F for at least three hours.
WIND CHILL WARNING
Wind chill index below -25°F for at least three hours.
A large area of low pressure and cold air surrounding both of the Earth’s poles. Many times in winter, the polar vortex will expand, sending cold air south. There is no cause for alarm when hearing the term “polar vortex,” but be prepared for colder temperatures.
HEALTH CONCERNS WITH EXTREME COLD
Can happen in minutes, especially on extremities such as fingers, toes, noses, and ears. Can permanently damage the body, and severe cases can lead to amputation.
Caused by prolonged exposure to extreme cold. Your body begins to lose heat faster in cold temperatures and lengthy exposures will eventually lower your body temperature. Too low of a body temperature will affect the brain.