The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill advisory for the Twin Cities area and the St. Michael area, warning that temperatures could reach dangerous levels from midnight Thursday through noon Friday.
The combination of wind and cold could result in wind chills of more than 30 below zero, and as much as 40 below zero in isolated areas, during the early morning hours Friday. At such temperatures, extreme caution is warranted to avoid frostbite and hypothermia.
"A surge of arctic air will spread across the region throughout the day today," stated the advisory, which was announced Wednesday afternoon. "By tonight subzero temperatures and brisk northwest winds will combine to create wind chill values of 25 below to 35 below across much of Minnesota."
At 40 below zero, going outdoors for more than 30 minutes without gloves or a face mask could result in frostbite. Motorists are urged to pack along extra clothing and a blanket in case of problems. Pets can also suffer from the cold, even on short walks.
Temperatures should recover into the 20s by Saturday.
How to dress during severely cold weather:
- Wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight, warm clothing. Trapped air between the layers will insulate you. Outer garments should be tightly woven, water repellent, and hooded.
- Wear a hat, because 40 percent of your body heat can be lost from your head.
- Cover your mouth to protect your lungs from extreme cold.
- Mittens, snug at the wrist, are better than gloves.
- Try to stay dry and out of the wind.