Winter Weather Update

Break out the long johns and heavy coats. Alabama is definitely in a deep freeze. The National Weather Service is predicting more frigid weather Friday and this weekend.

An Arctic high-pressure system will plunge temperatures into the single-digit range across north Alabama by early Saturday.

Its the coldest weather to invade the state in years and comes behind storms that brought a mix of wintry precipitation.

Overnight lows of six degrees were forecast in the Tennessee Valley, and forecasters said the Birmingham metro area would get down to 10 degrees. Temperatures are expected to drop into the teens as far south as the coast.

Winds are supposed to taper off after nightfall, helping ease some of the bite from the frosty temperatures.

A dusting of snow remains on the ground Friday in the highest elevations of northeast Alabama, but no major travel problems were reported. Extended Web Coverage

What is Frostbite?

  • Frostbite is the freezing of the skin and/or the bodily tissues under the skin.

  • The fluids in the body tissues and cellular spaces freeze and crystallize. This can cause damage to the blood vessels and result in blood clotting and lack of oxygen to the affected area.

What Causes Frostbite to Occur?

  • Frostbite is caused by exposure of the body to cold, and several factors can contribute to its development;
    • Length of time a person is exposed to the cold

    • Temperature outside

    • Force of the wind (windchill factor)

    • Humidity in the air

    • Wetness of clothing, shoes, and body coverings

    • Ingestion of alcohol and other drugs

    • High altitudes

    How To Prevent Frostbite

    • Proper clothing for winter weather insulates from the cold, lets perspiration evaporate, and provides protection against wind, rain, and snow.

    • Coverings for the head and neck are important. Hats, hoods, scarves, earmuffs, and face masks all add up to good protection.

    • Protect you feet and toes. Wear two pairs of socks (wool is best, or cotton socks with a pair of wool on top)

    • Hand coverings are vital. Mittens are warmer than gloves, but may limit what you can do with your fingers. Wear lightweight gloves under mittens so you will have protection if you take off your mittens to use your fingers.

    • When in frostbite-causing conditions, remember to dress appropriately, stay near adequate shelter, avoid alcohol and tobacco, and avoid remaining in the same position for long periods.

    Frostbite can be a serious, disabling condition. Use your head! Keep safety in mind when traveling in cold weather, during winter sports participation and when out and about during the frigid winter months

    Source: (McKinley Health Center Web Site about Frostbite)