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North Carolina Winter Weather Awareness Week
NOV 27th - DEC 3rd, 2011


Monday    Tuesday    Wednesday    Thursday    Friday   


THIS WEEK HAS BEEN DECLARED WINTER WEATHER AWARENESS WEEK IN NORTH
CAROLINA. ALL WEEK LONG THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WILL BE ISSUING
INFORMATIVE MESSAGES TO HELP YOU PREPARE FOR WINTER WEATHER.

EACH DAY WE WILL COVER A DIFFERENT TOPIC. TODAY WE WILL TALK ABOUT
COLD TEMPERATURES AND DANGERS OF OVEREXPOSURE.

COLD TEMPERATURES ARE JUST A FACT OF WINTER. EXTREME COLD OUTBREAKS
CAN OCCUR ALL ACROSS NORTH CAROLINA. DURING THE MONTHS OF DECEMBER
THROUGH FEBRUARY RECORD LOWS OF ZERO TO MINUS 5 DEGREES HAVE
OCCURRED ACROSS THE COASTAL PLAINS, WITH LOWS IN THE SINGLE DIGITS
ACROSS THE OUTER BANKS. THIS TYPE OF BITTERLY COLD WEATHER IS
USUALLY ASSOCIATED WITH AIR MASSES THAT ORIGINATE OVER THE POLAR AND
ARCTIC REGIONS. WHEN THE POLAR JET DROPS THIS FAR SOUTH IT OPENS THE
DOOR FOR COLD AIR TO RUSH INTO THE AREA FROM THE NORTH. EXTREMELY
COLD OUTBREAKS SUCH AS THIS CAN BRING DAYS OF BITTERLY COLD WEATHER
CAUSING PIPES TO FREEZE IN UNHEATED AREAS AND ENDANGERING LIVESTOCK.

ANOTHER FACTOR WHICH ADDS TO THE COLD IS WIND. WIND CHILL IS BASED
ON THE RATE OF HEAT LOSS FROM EXPOSED SKIN CAUSED BY A COMBINATION
OF WIND AND COLD TEMPERATURES. AS WIND BLOWS OVER EXPOSED FLESH,
MOISTURE ON THE BODY EVAPORATES CAUSING EVAPORATIVE COOLING WHICH
CHILLS THE BODY. THE STRONGER THE WIND AND THE COLDER THE
TEMPERATURE, THE LOWER THE WIND CHILL. WINDY CONDITIONS CAN
ACCELERATE FROSTBITE AND HYPOTHERMIA. A WIND CHILL OF AROUND ZERO
CAN CAUSE SEVERE FROSTBITE IS AS LITTLE AS 20 TO 30 MINUTES.

WARNING SIGNS THAT YOUR BODY IS GETTING TOO COLD ARE, UNCONTROLLABLE
SHIVERING, MEMORY LOSS, DISORIENTATION, DROWSINESS AND APPARENT
EXHAUSTION. PEOPLE OUTDOORS FOR LONG PERIODS OF TIME DURING EXTREME
COLD OUTBREAKS MAY EXPERIENCE THESE SYMPTOMS. IF CAUGHT OUTSIDE, BE
SURE NOT TO EAT SNOW AS EATING SNOW ACTUALLY LOWERS THE BODY'S
TEMPERATURE EVEN MORE.

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE ISSUES WIND CHILL ADVISORIES WHEN WIND
CHILLS ARE FORECAST TO DROP TO ZERO DEGREES FAHRENHEIT. WIND CHILL
WARNINGS ARE ISSUED WHEN WIND CHILL VALUES ARE EXPECTED TO DROP TO
MINUS 15 DEGREES OR BELOW. THESE ARE DANGEROUSLY COLD TEMPERATURES.
PROLONGED EXPOSURE TO COLD TEMPERATURES CAN CAUSE FROSTBITE AND/OR
HYPOTHERMIA, ESPECIALLY IN INFANTS AND THE ELDERLY.

Local Climate Water & Weather Topics:
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National Weather Service
Newport/Morehead City, NC Weather Forecast Office
533 Roberts Rd, Newport, NC 28570
(252) 223-5737
mhx.webmaster@noaa.gov
Page last modified: November 22, 2011
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