Arctic blast bringing extreme cold to Northeast Ohio

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CLEVELAND (WJW) —  An arctic blast is bringing additional snow squalls and punishingly cold temperatures to Northeast Ohio for your Valentine’s Day holiday.

Temperatures are expected to plunge to around 12 degrees, with windchills at or below zero.

“Oh my that sounds like I want to hibernate. That’s what it sounds like really, really cold,” said Connie Pickens in Cleveland.

Along with the frigid weather, the Ohio Department of Transportation has been trying to clear all of the snow from Thursday’s storm system while also preparing for the possibility of lake effect snow showers.

“The biggest challenge is just keeping up with where it’s going to hit next —  where it’s going to hit the hardest next,” said Amanda McFarland, ODOT Spokesperson. “Across Northeast Ohio we have over 300 snowplows operating and everyone is just going to continue working around the clock.

Emergency room doctors and nurses are also working hard, preparing for an uptick in cold weather injury patients, because it’s the first time in a while that the area’s seen these extreme conditions.

“Sometimes what happens is people aren’t prepared,” said Dr. Vicki Noble, University Hospitals Emergency Room. “So we do end up seeing more cold weather injuries at times like this where the weather is more variable.”

Dr. Noble says prevention is key.

Everyone, but especially children and the elderly, are advised to dress in loose layers and cover all exposed skin.

If the wind chill falls to -16 degrees, frostbites can occur in under 30 minutes. Frostbite symptoms include:

  • A prickly feeling
  • Numbness
  • Skin discoloration
  • Waxy appearance.

Click here for the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness’ Winter Health & Safety Tips.

Continuing coverage, here.

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