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Jan-21-2008 10:45printcomments

In Oregon: Baby It's Cold Outside

Afternoon high temperatures will struggle to get much above freezing inland from the coast, with upper teens and lower 20's in the Cascades.

portland oregon
Image courtesy: usgs.gov

(SALEM, Ore. ) - The coldest weather of the year has arrived in Oregon and is expected to stay in the region through Wednesday.

The National Weather Service in Portland says a modified arctic air spread over Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington overnight, and will be accompanied by clearing skies and strong east and northeast winds. Winds will be strongest tonight and on Tuesday.

The cold arctic air will cause morning lows to fall into the teen and lower 20's across the mid-Willamette Valley -- with 20's along the Oregon coast -- and in the single digits in the Cascades. The strong winds however, will cause wind chills in the mid-valley, Columbia River Gorge, and Cascades, to reach single digits, or below zero temperatures at times.

Afternoon high temperatures will struggle to get much above freezing inland from the coast, with upper teens and lower 20's in the Cascades.

Temperatures with Wind Chill:

At 10:30 AM, the temperature at Salem's McNary Field was 32 degrees. But with a wind out of the NNE at 16 mph, the wind chill makes it feel like it's 21 degrees. In Portland, temperature at the Portland International Airport was 35 degrees. However with the wind at 24 mph out of the east, it makes it feel like it's 23 degrees.

You can visit the following link to use the National Weather Service Windchill Calculator:

weather.gov/os/windchill/index.shtml

The Oregon Trail Chapter of the American Red Cross will operate emergency warming centers for the homeless Monday night at the following locations:

Estate Hotel, 225 NW Couch – 8:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.

Cavalry Christian Ministries, 126 NE Alberta – 8:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.

Foursquare Church, 1303 SE Ankeny – 8:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.

Here Are Some Cold Weather Tips:

Warnings Signs of Hypothermia:

Adults:

Shivering, exhaustion confusion, fumbling hands memory loss, slurred speech and drowsiness.

Infants:

Watch for bright red, cold skin and very low energy.

What to Do:

If you notice any of these signs, take the person’s temperature. If it is below 95°, the situation is an emergency—get medical attention immediately.

If medical care is not available, begin warming the person, as follows:

1. Get the victim into a warm room or shelter.

2. If the victim has on any wet clothing, remove it.

3. Warm the center of the body first—chest, neck, head, and groin—using an electric blanket, if available. Or use skin-to-skin contact under loose, dry layers of blankets, clothing, towels, or sheets.

4. Warm beverages can help increase the body temperature, but do not give alcoholic beverages. Do not try to give beverages to an unconscious person.

5. After body temperature has increased, keep the person dry and wrapped in a warm blanket, including the head and neck.

6. Get medical attention as soon as possible.

A person with severe hypothermia may be unconscious and may not seem to have a pulse or to be breathing. In this case, handle the victim gently, and get emergency assistance immediately. Even if the victim appears dead, CPR should be provided. CPR should continue while the victim is being warmed, until the victim responds or medical aid becomes available. In some cases, hypothermia victims who appear to be dead can be successfully resuscitated.

Recognizing Frostbite:

At the first signs of redness or pain in any skin area, get out of the cold or protect any exposed skin—frostbite may be beginning.

Any of the following signs may indicate frostbite:

A white or grayish-yellow skin area

Skin that feels unusually firm or waxy numbness

A victim is often unaware of frostbite until someone else points it out because the frozen tissues are numb.

What to Do:

If you detect symptoms of frostbite, seek medical care. Because frostbite and hypothermia both result from exposure, first determine whether the victim also shows signs of hypothermia, as described previously. Hypothermia is a more serious medical condition and requires emergency medical assistance.

If (1) there is frostbite but no sign of hypothermia and (2) immediate medical care is not available, proceed as follows:

1. Get into a warm room as soon as possible.

2. Unless absolutely necessary, do not walk on frostbitten feet or toes—this increases the damage.

3. Immerse the affected area in warm—not hot—water (the temperature should be comfortable to the touch for unaffected parts of the body).

4. Or, warm the affected area using body heat. For example, the heat of an armpit can be used to warm frostbitten fingers.

5. Do not rub the frostbitten area with snow or massage it at all. This can cause more damage.

6. Don’t use a heating pad, heat lamp, or the heat of a stove, fireplace, or radiator for warming. Affected areas are numb and can be easily burned.

These procedures are not substitutes for proper medical care. Hypothermia is a medical emergency and frostbite should be evaluated by a health care provider.

Prepare Your Home:

Although periods of extreme cold cannot always be predicted far in advance, weather forecasts can sometimes provide you with several days’ notice. Listen to weather forecasts regularly, and check your emergency supplies whenever a period of extreme cold is predicted.

If you plan to use a fireplace or wood stove for emergency heating, have your chimney or flue inspected each year. Ask your local fire department to recommend an inspector, or find one in the yellow pages of your telephone directory under “chimney cleaning.”

Also, if you’ll be using a fireplace, wood stove, or kerosene heater, install a smoke detector and a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector near the area to be heated. Test them monthly, and replace batteries twice yearly.

Your ability to feel a change in temperature decreases with age, and older people are more susceptible to health problems caused by cold. If you are over 65 years old, place an easy-to-read thermometer in an indoor location where you will see it frequently, and check the temperature of your home often during the winter months.

Insulate any water lines that run along exterior walls so your water supply will be less likely to freeze. To the extent possible, weatherproof your home by adding weather-stripping, insulation, insulated doors and storm windows, or thermal-pane windows.

If you have pets, bring them indoors. If you cannot bring them inside, provide adequate shelter to keep them warm and make sure that they have access to unfrozen water.

Prepare Your Car:

You can avoid many dangerous winter travel problems by planning ahead. Have maintenance service on your vehicle as often as the manufacturer recommends.

In addition:

1. Have the radiator system serviced, or check the antifreeze level yourself with an antifreeze tester. Add antifreeze, as needed.

2. Replace windshield-wiper fluid with a wintertime mixture.

3. Replace any worn tires, and check the air pressure in the tires.

4. During winter, keep the gas tank near full to help avoid ice in the tank and fuel lines.

Working in the Cold:

Working in cold weather puts a tremendous strain on the body, even for people in good shape.

Take frequent breaks and don't overexert yourself. Make sure you dress properly for the conditions. Wear several layers of lightweight clothing. Air is trapped between the layers to help keep the body warm. Protect the extremities, such as the hands, feet and ears as they are the most susceptible to frostbite. Wear a hat as a large percentage of the body's heat is lost through the top of the head.

(Winter Safety Tips from the CDC)




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Jefferson January 22, 2008 9:37 am (Pacific time)

" just me", please be aware if it is cold- it's global warming; if it's raining too much- it's global warming; if it's record snow- it's global warming; it it's whatever type of weather- it's global warming. I guess in the fullness of time reality will answer what is happening. My guess, we humans really have little impact on climate, not zero impact, just not enough to effect natural cycles...


just me January 22, 2008 1:44 am (Pacific time)

What happened to Global Warming? I guess it's gone for now. What a joke that was. It will be back in the summer time I guess.

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