Extreme cold requires major precautions

There’s no way to sugarcoat it; this week’s weather will be dangerously cold.

The National Weather Service in Des Moines has issued a windchill advisory due to prolonged periods of temperatures well below freezing. Following a high of seven degrees below zero with a low of 20 below zero on Tuesday, Wednesday figures to be another frigid day, with a high nearing double digits below zero. Factor in blustery winds and Wednesday’s windchill will be approaching 50 degrees below zero.

High temperatures on Thursday will remain below zero before a warm up begins into next week.

With the arctic conditions comes great hazard to those outside for prolonged periods of time. Nancy Retz, interim EMS manager at Franklin General Hospital, said avoid being outdoors if it all possible. The Center for Disease Control states that when windchills fall past 15 degrees below zero, frostbite can occur in less than 30 minutes. Retz said that initial frostbite symptoms include numbness, loss of feeling to extremities and a prickly or tingly feeling in the skin.

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