DuBois, PA – Stay warm! Dangerously cold temperatures are underway, with record-breaking lows. The good news… a warm-up is on the way for the weekend!

Weather forecast according to Accuweather, brought to you by Advantaclean (updated as of Wednesday morning):

Wednesday, Jan. 30 –

  • High of 6, a couple of snow squalls in the morning; decreasing clouds; extreme cold can be dangerous
  • Low of -9, mainly clear; frigid; extreme cold can be dangerous for outdoor activities

Thursday, Jan. 31 –

  • High of 7, sunny to partly cloudy; brisk and bitterly cold; extreme cold can be dangerous in the morning
  • Low of -3, rather cloudy; frigid; extreme cold can be dangerous for outdoor activities

Friday, Feb. 1 –

  • High of 21, cloudy, a bit of snow with little or no accumulation; cold
  • Low of 10, partly to mostly cloudy

Saturday, Feb. 2

  • High of 34, periods of clouds and sunshine; not as cold
  • Low of 29, a bit of ice in the evening; otherwise, considerable cloudiness

Sunday, Feb. 3

  • High of 44, intervals of clouds and sunshine; milder
  • Low of 36, cloudy most of the time

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With dangerously cold weather on the way, we have some timely warnings about the health dangers associated with plummeting temperatures.

Click Here for the updated Operation Snow Watch page, brought to you by Greg Cranmer of State Farm Insurance.

Limit the time you’re outdoors when it’s cold, especially if it’s wet or windy. Pay attention to weather forecasts and wind chills. Exposed skin can develop frostbite in just minutes.

Dress in multiple layers of loose, warm clothing. The air that gets trapped between the layers acts as a form of insulation. For added protection, wear windproof and waterproof outer layers. Wear undergarments that wick moisture away from the skin. Always change out of any wet clothing as soon as possible.

Cover your head. Wear a hat, headband, or earmuffs. Woolen or windproof headwear is best.

Wear mittens over your gloves. Because mittens keep your fingers together, they keep your fingers warmer. Double up on a thin pair of glove liners or light gloves underneath mittens.

Wear good socks. Consider also wearing sock liners to provide an extra layer of protection against the cold. You can also use hand and foot warmers. Make sure the extra socks or the foot warms don’t make your boots too tight, which can restrict blood flow.

Watch for signs of frostbite. Early signs of frostbite include pale or red skin, prickling, or numbness. Go inside if you notice any signs.

Plan ahead and protect yourself. If you know you’ll be outside or traveling in cold weather, make sure you have emergency supplies and warm clothing in case you become stranded. If you’ll be going somewhere without cell phone service or are going to a new area, alert others of your route and when you expect to return.

Don’t drink alcohol if you plan on being outdoors in cold temperatures. Although it might make you feel warm, alcohol actually causes your body to lose heat faster.

Stay hydrated and eat well-balanced, healthy meals. Doing this before you go out into the cold will help you stay warm longer, but it won’t protect you entirely.

Keep moving. Exercising can get your blood pumping faster and help you to stay warm, but don’t continue to exercise to the point of exhaustion.

Doctor Jeff Brakora of University Health Methodist Hospital.

Avoiding a fall:

  • Walk slowly and deliberately.
  • Wear boots or other slip-resistant footwear.
  • Be especially careful on stairs, steps, and getting in and out of vehicles.
  • Avoid carrying items. Keep your hands empty so arms are free to move for stabilization. Use a backpack if possible.
  • If you slip, do not break your fall with your hands. You could end up injuring your hands, fingers, or wrists. Instead, try to fall so your trunk or torso takes most of the impact.
  • If you fall on your back, do your best to protect your head from hitting the ground.
  • Carry a phone with you so you can call 911 or a friend or neighbor to help you if you fall and can’t get back up.

 

Signs of frostbite:

  • At first, cold skin and a prickling feeling
  • Numbnmess
  • Red, white, bluish-white or grayish-yellow skin
  • Hard or waxy skin
  • Joint and muscle stiffness
  • Clumsiness
  • Blistering after rewarming (symptom of a severe case of frostbite)
  • Frostbite starts as frostnip, which generally doesn’t leave any lasting damage but can progress quickly. Skin will feel painful as it warms up.

Signs of hypothermia:

  • Shivering (one of the first signs)
  • Slurred speech or mumbling
  • Shallow or slow breathing
  • Weak pulse
  • Lack of coordination or clumsiness
  • Very low energy or drowsiness
  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Bright red, cold skin (especially in infants)
  • Signs begin gradually… confused thinking will make it difficult for people with hypothermia to recognize the signs in themselves

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PennDOT recommends that you stay off of the road if possible during any heavy storm. However, here are some tips if you do have to travel:

When you do get on the road, make sure that your vehicle is entirely cleaned off. Not only do you need to be able to see out of the front and back windshields and see your mirrors, but the layer of snow also has to be cleaned off of your car’s roof, hood, and trunk.

If snow or ice falls off of your car and causes another person to crash, you could be charged.

Other safety tips for PennDOT:

Take it slow. The speed limit is the fastest speed that you should go in optimal conditions. That means that whenever it’s snowy or icy, you need to be traveling substantially slower. Give yourself the extra seconds to react if something happens.

Give yourself plenty of room between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead of you. Again, you need time and space to react if the other vehicle stops, swerves, or does something unexpected.

Turn on your headlights. This is not just so you can see where you’re going, but also so other drivers can see your vehicle.

Avoid distractions, especially your cell phone. Keep your eyes on the roadway.

Always wear your seat belt. Among drivers and front-seat passengers, seat belts reduce the risk of death by 45%, and cut the risk of serious injury by 50 percent. Seat belts prevent drivers and passengers from being ejected during a crash. People not wearing a seat belt are 30 times more likely to be ejected from a vehicle during a crash.

PennDOT encourages drivers to “Know before they go” and to check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA is free, available 24 hours a day, and provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information, and access to more than 860 traffic cameras.

Most area schools are closed today or have 2-hour delays. Click Here to see the full list for Operation Snow Watch, brought to you by Greg Cranmer-State Farm.