National Weather Service Issues “Wind Chill Watch” For Our Area

Narragansett Bay

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a “Wind Chill Watch” for our area. This advisement goes into effect at 1 pmon, Saturday, February 13, 2016 and will continue until 1 pm on, Sunday, February 14, 2016.

If you need to know where to go during severe cold weather, head here –  Warming Centers Around Newport Open Ahead of Forecasted Extreme Cold Temperatures.

Locations: South Coasts of both Rhode Island & Massachusetts, including Cape Cod

Hazard Types: Potential Life Threatening Wind Chills & near record cold air temperatures

Wind Chill Readings: As low as -25 Fahrenheit

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Timing: The worst of the Wind Chills will occur Saturday night into Sunday morning

Impacts: Wind Chills of this kind can cause frostbite in 15 minutes or less to exposed skin surfaces. Outdoor exposure should be limited to only what is absolutely necessary in these conditions

Winds: Northwest 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 50 mph

Temperatures: Temperatures Saturday night into Sunday morning will fall to near record cold values of 5 below to 5 above zero degrees Fahrenheit

A Wind Chill Watch is issued when there is the potential for Wind Chills to fall to – 25 degrees or colder for at least 3 hours. A Wind Chill index below -30 can bring on frostbite in as little as 10 minutes. Outdoor exposure should be limited in these conditions.

What you can do to help avoid any potential problems at home or on the road during this weather event:

  • Let the cold water drip from the faucet in areas served by pipes that may be subject to freezing. Running water through the pipe – even at a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing. Additionally, leave cabinet or vanity doors open, that contain water pipes, to allow them to receive warmth from the air circulating through your home
  • Keep the thermostat in your home set to the same temperature both during the day and at night. By temporarily suspending the use of lower night time temperatures, you may incur a higher heating bill, but you can prevent a much more costly repair job if pipes freeze and burst.
  • If you will be going away during cold weather, leave the heat on in your home, set to a temperature no lower than 55° F.
  • Know the signs of frostbite and hypothermia. Symptoms of frostbite can include loss of feeling and loss of color and usually happens on the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers or toes. Symptoms of hypothermia in adults can include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling hands, memory loss, drowsiness, or slurred speech. In infants, symptoms of hypothermia can include bright red, cold skin and low energy.
  • Remember: Pets get cold too! If it is too cold for you to be outside, it’s too cold for your pet as well. Do not leave cats/dogs outside for prolonged periods of time.
  • Keep a blanket and/or hats and gloves in your vehicle in the event you are stranded and without heat.

This notification is precautionary in nature and intended to provide our residents and visitors with pertinent information should they need to utilize it. NEMA will disseminate further updates as they become available. You may also visit http://www.weather.gov/ to get updated weather information and how it is predicted to impact our area.

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