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Bitter Cold and Dangerous Wind Chills Grip State College

by on January 02, 2014 7:05 AM

Dangerously cold temperatures are in the forecast for Friday as well as next week. Adding to the misery are gusty winds that will produce numbingly cold wind chills across the region.

For Friday morning, the forecast calls for temperatures that feels like minus 20 degrees, says Kristina Pydynowski, senior meteorologist at AccuWeather. The high for Friday is just 12 degrees and that will feel like minus 5 degrees.

"It's going to be brutally and dangerously cold basically all day," says Pydynowski.

The record low for Friday was set in 1918 at minus 5 degrees.

Saturday is expected to be dry, partly sunny with a high of 25. A rainstorm is expected to move in on Sunday that could create some ice issues. The storm could also change to snow Sunday night.

"It doesn't look like big, heavy snow, but enough to cause disruptions. Wet roads could become icy ... it's a double-whammy that could create some treacherous travel," says Pydynowski.

While it will warm up to the 20s over the weekend, temperatures are expected to plummet into the single digits Monday into Tuesday. The high for Tuesday is expected to be about 5 degrees.

Adding to the problem is the wind chill, which contributes to how cold it will feel. The wind chill index is the temperature your body feels when the air temperature combines with wind speed.

"It is based on the rate of heat loss from exposed skin caused by the effects of wind and cold. As the speed of the wind increases, it can carry heat away from your body much more quickly, causing skin temperature to drop," according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "When there are high winds, serious weather-related health problems are more likely, even when temperatures are only cool."

The cold temperatures can be downright dangerous. Such weather creates risk for frostbite and hypothermia.

When the weather is extremely cold, and especially if there are high winds, the CDC recommends people try to stay indoors. The CDC says folks should make any trips outside as brief as possible, and to do the following:

- Wear layered clothing along with a hat, scarf, cloves and water-resistant coat and boots.

- Stay dry as wet clothing will chill the body rapidly.

- Also, avoid getting gasoline or alcohol on your skin while de-icing and fueling your car or using a snow blower. These materials in contact with the skin greatly increase heat loss from the body.

- Do not ignore shivering as it is the first sign that the body is losing heat. Persistent shivering is a signal to return indoors.

- Avoid exertion.

- Be cautious about travel by staying up to date on weather reports and advisories and avoiding travel during low-visibility and icy conditions.

- If you do travel, notify someone of your destination and when you expect to arrive. Ask them to notify authorities if you're late.

For more extreme cold weather safety tips, click HERE.

Click HERE to see the latest weather forecast from AccuWeather.

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Jennifer Miller is a reporter for StateCollege.com. She has worked in journalism since 2005. She's covered news at the local, state and national level with an emphasis on crime and local government.
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