A Wind Chill Warning will go into effect for portions of Central Ohio, including the Columbus area, after 7 p.m. this evening through Thursday morning as wind chill values approach -25 degrees. A warning already exists for the northwestern part of our area.
The actual morning low will be in the range -5 to -10 degrees, without factoring in the wind speed, the coldest of the season. At these levels, frostbite can occur in as little as 30 minutes if your skin is unprotected from the cold, including your facial features.
Early signs of frostbite–called frost nip–range from a pale skin color to some reddening and tingling or burning of the skin’s surface. At this point, it is time to head indoors and warm up your extremities. Prolonged exposure to harsh cold, especially for the very young, seniors, and people with medical conditions (circulatory, respiratory illnesses), is potentially dangerous.
If in doubt, seek proper attention quickly. Frostbite is very serious and requires immediate medical treatment. Hypothermia is life-threatening: symptoms include drowsiness, slurring of speech, confusion and becoming uncoordinated or unsteady.