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Windy Conditions and Bitter Windchill Values Expected for Today and Overnight Lead to Cold Weather Alert

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The Middlesex-London Health Unit is issuing its second Cold Weather Alert in less than a week, as winter weather and strong winds drive windchill values to near -20 today and -24 overnight, before temperatures plunge to an expected low of -18C into Friday morning. This Cold Weather Alert will remain in effect until midday tomorrow, when winds are expected to die down and the daytime high reaches -12C.

The Health Unit issues Cold Weather Alerts when forecast temperatures are expected to drop to -15C or lower, or when Environment Canada advises that windchill values are expected to be -20 or lower.

“For the second time in a little less than a week, we’re expecting weather and cold temperatures can take a real negative toll on our bodies and on our health,” says David Pavletic, Environmental Health Manager with the Middlesex-London Health Unit. “Our advice remains to limit any time you have to spend outdoors when Cold Weather Alerts are in effect, but that if it is necessary to spend time outdoors, that you dress for the conditions and cover exposed skin to prevent cold-related illness or injuries.”

Cold conditions and strong winds can damage exposed skin and lead to frostbite. Symptoms of frostbite include skin turning red, blue or in later stages, grayish-white. Individuals may experience pain, numbness and stiffness, especially in the fingers, toes, ears and nose, which are most susceptible to the cold. If you suspect frostbite, warm the affected area by placing it next to warmer skin or immerse in warm, but not hot, water. Do not rub the affected area, and seek emergency medical treatment for cases of severe, blistering frostbite. The re-warming process may take up to 60 minutes.

Hypothermia can happen when a person’s internal body temperature drops below normal. Symptoms include pale skin, drowsiness, confusion and hallucinations. While individuals may shiver in the early stages of hypothermia, shivering may decrease as body temperature drops. In severe cases, individuals lose consciousness, their breathing becomes shallow and their pulse becomes irregular and hard to detect. Anyone with these symptoms requires emergency medical treatment in order to prevent coma or death.

For a list of warming centres in the City of London, please visit: https://london.ca/warming-centres

Media Contact:
Dan Flaherty, Communications Manager, Middlesex-London Health Unit
519-663-5317 extension 2469 or 519-617-0570

David Pavletic, Environmental Health Manager, Middlesex-London Health Unit