CLEVELAND – Temperatures across Ohio are staying cold with daytime highs barely reaching into the double digits. This is the coldest air we’ve seen since January of ’09. In addition to the cold, we’re dealing with gusty winds. Wind chills have been below zero since Monday evening making hypothermia a real concern.
According to the National Weather Service, hypothermia can set in within five minutes in the most extreme cases. Luckily, we won’t be getting nearly cold enough for that!
According to the chart above, our temperatures and winds added together put us in the zone showing hypothermia could set in within 30 minutes or less. What that means is any exposed skin (ears, nose, fingers, etc.) will start to feel the impacts in a matter of minutes.
The first sign is skin redness and numbness. After that, you’ll notice your skin changing to a blue color and eventually white or a yellowish grey. You need to take action before your skin starts to feel waxy or firm. In most cases, the changes are pointed out by someone else because the affected area is numb and you can’t feel the pain. Other symptoms include drowsiness, memory loss, disorientation and uncontrollable shivering.