Below zero temperatures, windchill to stick around the area

Weekend could be record-breaking


Old Man Winter has settled over the area and will not let go. With feels-like temperatures below zero through next week, extra layers seem necessary.

Washington County saw temperatures dip below zero this week, prompting wind chill advisories and schools to consider closing due to the weather.

On Tuesday, Blair Community Schools Supt. Randy Gilson emailed parents to let them know students would be allowed early entry into the buildings. The district also allowed parents to keep students home and learn remotely for those concerned about their safety.

The county and the region isn't expected a break from the dangerously cold weather any time soon.Monday the windchill is expected to be in the negative teens and 20s.

"We have a cold air mass that's moving over the region and sticking around," said Katie Gross, meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Valley. "A low pressure system over Canada is spinning there and that's pulling the cold air into our area and keeping it here."

Saturday and Sunday has a potential to break records, she said. On Saturday, the feels-like temperature will be -25 to -30, and it will feel like -30 to -35 on Sunday.

Gross said frostbite will set in within 30 minutes using if the windchill is around -28.

Temperatures this cold aren't good for humans, but animals are also affected by the extreme cold.

Rachel Preissler, manager of the Jeanette Hunt Animal Shelter in Blair, said longer haired, thick-coated dogs, such as Huskies and Alaskan Malmutes, are more tolerant of cold weather, but no pet should be left outside. 

"‚ÄčThere is not set amount of time an animal can be left outside," she said. "Usually, the smaller the animal and shorter the hair, the shorter amount of time. Still, the long, thick-haired breeds are not immune to the cold either."

Animals can get frostbite and hypothermia.

"Hypothermia is deadly to pets," Preissler said. "Although frostbite is not deadly to pets it can lead to skin complications that can cause secondary health concerns such as infections."

She suggested if the dog has a short coat or seems bothered by the cold weather to consider a sweater or dog coat.

"Have several on hand, so you can use a dry sweater or coat each time your dog goes outside," Preissler said. "Wet sweaters or coats can actually make your dog colder. Some pet owners also use booties to protect their dog's feet. If you choose to use them, make sure they fit properly."



No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment