ISSUED BY ENVIRONMENT CANADA AT 3:15 P.M. EST WEDNESDAY 18 FEBRUARY 2015
Temperatures are expected to drop to near or below minus 20 Celsius tonight. The cold temperatures will combine with strong northwesterly winds to produce wind chill values near or below minus 30 by Thursday morning. Little improvement is expected through the day on Thursday, with daytime highs only a few degrees higher than the overnight low temperatures, and winds forecast to become increasingly gusty. Very cold wind chill values are likely to persist through Friday, then improve somewhat on Saturday.
While anyone who isn’t dressed warmly is at risk in cold weather conditions, some are at greater risk than others for frost bite and hypothermia: – homeless people – outdoor workers – people living in homes that are poorly insulated (with no heat or no power) – people with certain medical conditions such as diabetes, peripheral neuropathy and diseases affecting the blood vessels, people taking certain medications including beta-blockers – winter sport enthusi asts – people who consume excess alcohol – infants and – seniors. Watch for cold related symptoms and complaints which include: – Respiratory: shortness of breath, wheezing and cough – Cardiovascular: chest pain and arrhythmias – Circulation: colour change of finger and toes, pain, numbness and tickling sensation in extremities – Muscle: pain, stiffness, swelling, restricted movement, weakness – Skin: itching, pale. If you experience these symptoms when exposed to the cold, move indoors and begin warming. Wear appropriate clothing. – Always wear clothing appropriate for the weather. Synthetic and wool fabrics provide better insulation. Some synthetic fabrics are designed to keep perspiration away from your body which keep you dry and further reduce your risk. – Dress in layers with a wind resistant outer layer. You can remove layers if you get too warm (before you start sweating) or add a layer if you get cold. – Wear warm socks, gloves, a hat and scarf in cold weather. Be sure to cover your nose to protect it. – If you get wet, change into dry clothing as soon as possible. You lose heat faster when you’re wet. Extreme cold warnings are issued when very cold temperatures or wind chill creates an elevated risk to health such as frost bite and hypothermia. Environment Canada meteorologists will update alerts as required, so stay tuned to your local media or Weatheradio. Email reports of severe weather to email@example.com or tweet with the hashtag #ONStorm.