Today will likely be the coldest “day” of the season so far and could also see the coldest morning temperatures of the season! We likely won’t hit the 4 degrees we fell to on the 22nd of January but windy conditions will make for a morning that is every bit as dangerous. The big concern this morning is for those waiting at the bus stop or exposed to the elements for any extended amount of time. With today’s temperatures and winds frostbite could potentially set in within 15 minutes, causing severe damage to one’s skin.
What is frostbite? It’s a condition where the body cannot replace body heat lost fast enough resulting in the skin’s
temperature falling below freezing. As this occurs circulation slows and blood cells constrict. It sounds painful and I have been told it is. Frostbite is categorized by degrees with first degree frostbite just being prolonged exposure to the elements. Blistering occurs with the other three degrees with the difference being in how much deep tissue is disturbed. Second degree frostbite involves just the outermost layer of skin with forth degree frostbite exposing a large section of skin.
There are ways to counteract frostbite. The best way by far is to dress in layers and keep the wind off of your skin by limiting any exposed skin. Frostbite is most likely to occur in extremities furthest from your heart so toes and fingers are particularly at risk. Common sense and preparation will make frostbite little more than a concern for those who are adequately prepared today. Good luck staying warm!