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Intense Cold Continues, But Significant Warm Up is in Sight

by on November 19, 2014 6:00 AM

We've survived the coldest part of the arctic onslaught that arrived Tuesday morning but we're not of the cold weather woods just yet.

Wednesday morning promises to be almost as chilly with temperatures in the teens expected along with more blustery winds that will make it feel like it's close to zero degrees outside.

"It shouldn't be quite as harsh [as Tuesday]," says AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Tom Kines. "If you're outside you're still going to feel the wind but it won't be as brutal."

That has to be good news for people who have to work in the great outdoors.

Dan Walters, a construction worker, spent hours outside on Tuesday. He says dressing warm is the key. "As long as you're dressed in layers it's not too bad," he says.

Bill Morrison was trying to keep moving while delivering restaurant supplies on East College Avenue. Morrison says the wind is the worst. "I can deal with the coldness but the wind it just cuts through you."

In case you're wondering, we have been in near-record territory, but this cold snap likely won't make it into the record books.

The coldest it got Tuesday morning was 16 degrees. The all-time cold record for Tuesday is eight degrees.

The record for Wednesday is 10 degrees and it's not expected to get that cold today. Just before 6 a.m. Wednesday the temperature was 12 degrees. Factor in the wind chill and that feels like one degree below zero. Record-breaking or not, it's extremely cold compared to what we normally see at this time of year -- highs around the upper forties.

Remember that extreme cold can be dangerous. The Centers for Disease Control says hypothermia and frostbite can affect people exposed to very cold temperatures.

The warning signs for hypothermia include:

  • shivering/exhaustion
  • confusion/fumbling hands
  • memory loss/slurred speech
  • drowsiness

Frostbite happens when parts of your body freeze, such as fingers, noses or toes. Victims may not even know they're experiencing frostbite because the frozen tissue is numb.

The CDC says frostbite warning signs include:

  • a white or grayish-yellow skin area
  • skin that feels unusually firm or waxy
  • numbness

Be sure to stay warm when you go outside. Wear a hat, a scarf, mittens or gloves and several layers of loose-fitting clothing to help preserve your body heat. It's also important to stay dry. Wet clothing can cause a rapid loss of body heat. Don't ignore shivering. That's your body telling you it's time to go back inside.

The cold weather should begin to fade in the days ahead.

On Thursday and Friday, temperatures will moderate a bit, getting close to freezing and it gets better from there. According to AccuWeather we'll be getting well up into the thirties on Saturday, the forties on Sunday and into the fifties and maybe even the sixties on Monday.

"Don't get too used to it," says Kines chuckling, adding that Monday's warm up is way above normal.

Click HERE for the latest AccuWeather forecast.

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Steve Bauer was the Managing Editor of StateCollege.com. Steve and his wife Trina are longtime area residents. They reside in State College along with a wacky Golden Retriever named Izzy.
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