Jan
13
2009

On January 17, 2007, I wrote this post. The weather outside must have been pretty darn similar to today's, and the information seems as relevant today as it did then.

Staying warm: When the wind chill reaches -40 or so, exposed skin will freeze in about 10 minutes. So stay inside or cover up! It's cold out there...
Staying warm: When the wind chill reaches -40 or so, exposed skin will freeze in about 10 minutes. So stay inside or cover up! It's cold out there...Courtesy Liza Pryor

Then I started searching for other stories we've posted on hypothermia and frostbite. Most Buzzers live in Minnesota, so there are quite a few. ;)

Check those out, and pay attention to severe weather alerts. Here's last night's:

"A WIND CHILL ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM MIDNIGHT
TONIGHT TO 12 PM CST TUESDAY. WIND CHILL READINGS OF 25 BELOW TO
35 BELOW ZERO WILL OCCUR OVERNIGHT AND TUESDAY MORNING.

A WIND CHILL ADVISORY MEANS THAT VERY COLD AIR AND STRONG WINDS
WILL COMBINE TO GENERATE LOW WIND CHILLS. THIS WILL RESULT IN
FROST BITE AND LEAD TO HYPOTHERMIA IF PRECAUTIONS ARE NOT TAKEN.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

bryan kennedy's picture

Also, don't forget to look out for chilblains, an ulcer that can form on your skin (fingers, toes, and earlobes mostly) when exposed to extreme cold and humidity.

In doing some quick research on chilblains, I found out that they are idiopathic. Idiopathic essentially means that scientists and doctors don't know exactly why they form. Some people get them and some don't. One particular family in Germany got them REAL bad, in the report of Chilblains Lupus.

I love this word, idiopathic. Its wikipedia page features a funny little definition of this word, by way of Stedman's Medical Dictionary and one of my favorite authors, Isaac Asimov:

"A high-flown term to conceal ignorance."

posted on Tue, 01/13/2009 - 4:09pm
ARTiFactor's picture
ARTiFactor says:

So a diagnosis of idiopathic cephalgia would be a head ache from an unknown cause.

posted on Tue, 01/13/2009 - 4:46pm
Joe's picture
Joe says:

I heard the great comparison yesterday that it was colder here then the surface of the moon.

Which was right - depending on where on the moon you were. It could have been hotter then the hottest place on Earth too.

posted on Wed, 01/14/2009 - 4:13pm
Roosevelt81's picture
Roosevelt81 says:

I read where the Miami Heat (NBA team) were recently in town for a game and walked to their morning practice at the Target Center from their hotel just for the experience of feeling -18 Deg F morning temperatures.

What was learned? Extreme cold can lead to hypothermia, frostbite and the inability to attract quality NBA prospects from the warmer climate franchises.

posted on Wed, 01/14/2009 - 6:41pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

Tomorrow morning, Twin Cities residents are bracing for the coldest temperatures in 5 years. Fresh snowfall, clear skies, and a Canadian high pressure system are teaming up to keep us in the deep freeze. There are statewide wind chill warnings until Friday at noon, and overnight ambient air temperatures will be in the -20s, with wind chills down to the -40s.

But hey, here are two "cool" things to do in this weather:

  1. Take a mug of boiling water outside, and toss the water up in the air. What happens? Why?
  2. Have soap solution and a bubble wand around the house? Step outside and blow a few bubbles. What happens? Why?
posted on Wed, 01/14/2009 - 11:09pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

Man, KARE11 was thinking the same thing! They'll be doing "cold weather experiments" on tomorrow's morning news starting at 6am.

posted on Wed, 01/14/2009 - 11:22pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

Here's video of the boiling water experiment. And the bubble experiment.

Also, pounding a nail with a frozen banana and an interesting hair styling technique.

And best of all, shooting a SuperSoaker at -45 degrees.

Enjoy.

posted on Thu, 01/15/2009 - 1:29pm
Thor's picture
Thor says:

These clips are better than anything network TV puts on during prime time!!!

posted on Thu, 01/15/2009 - 4:56pm
Joe's picture
Joe says:

Ooo - I like the bubbles! I am going to try that!

posted on Thu, 01/15/2009 - 11:04pm
RussD's picture
RussD says:

It is colder in Minneapolis right now (-20F) than it is at the South Pole (-18). This flip/flop in temp with the South Pole and Minnesota happens quite often this time of year.

Russ

posted on Thu, 01/15/2009 - 10:40am
Liza's picture
Liza says:

Here's a new little bit from the CNN SciTech blog on the recent streak of cold weather...

posted on Mon, 01/26/2009 - 4:42pm

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