Cold Weather Reminders

Chilling Dangers of Cold Weather, from Ready PA January 2021 Newsletter

We are slip, sliding into the coldest months of the year on average. Some of the coldest weather experienced in Pennsylvania has occurred in January and February.

Nearly 120 years ago, Smethport McKean County had a thermometer drop out to 42 degrees…below zero…that is! Yeah, a negative 42-degree day on January 5, 1904. Brrrr!

While we don’t often hit those extremes, it doesn’t take extreme cold to run into cold air exposure hazards in the commonwealth. On cold days, follow these tips to be prepared:

  • Layer Up! Wearing layers is an effective way to insulate your body from the cold.
  • Hats On! Most of the body’s heat escapes from the head, so cover that noggin!
  • Mittens Matter! To keep your hands warmer, keep your fingers together in mittens instead of gloves.
  • Break It Up! Make sure you take a break to warm up, reducing your risk for hypothermia or frostbite.
  • Stay Dry! Getting wet in cold air can lead to a more rapid route to hypothermia.

At home, seal up windows and doors, insulate exposed pipes, and on the coldest days, let the faucets drip to keep water flowing in pipes to prevent freezing.

Winter storms can occur anywhere and bring freezing rain, ice, snow, high winds, or a combination of all these conditions. It’s important to be prepared for winter weather. Stay safe and healthy when temperatures start to fall. 

Get to Know Your Terms

A Winter Weather Advisory is when wintry weather is expected; exercise caution. Light amounts of wintry precipitation or patchy blowing snow will cause slick conditions and could affect travel if precautions are not taken.

A Winter Storm Watch is when snow, sleet, or ice is possible, be prepared! Confidence is medium that a winter storm could produce heavy snow, sleet, or freezing rain and cause significant impacts.

A Winter Storm Warning is when snow, sleet, or ice is expected. Confidence is high that a winter storm will produce heavy snow, sleet, or freezing rain and cause significant impacts.   

For more information, visit Ready PA or the National Weather Service.