Frigid cold to linger this week

The frigid cold is expected to continue to linger over Prince Albert.

According to a weather alert issued by Environment and Climate Change Canada, the “multi-day episode” of very cold wind chills is expected to continue.

The alert said that a cold, arctic air mass is “entrenched” over southern Saskatchewan.

Extreme cold values of -40 to -45 will roll in overnight, they will moderate somewhat during the day but will return again tomorrow night.

The trend is expected to continue as the cold air mass will remain anchored over the prairies into the weekend.

The extreme cold warnings will spread eastward throughout the week.

The weather alert reminded residents to dress warmly in layers that can be removed if you get too warm. The outer layer should be wind resistant.

The alert also told residents they should keep emergency supplies in their vehicles such as extra blankets and jumper cables.

It advised residents to watch for colour changes on their fingers and toes, pain, numbness, a tingling sensation or swelling.

If any of those are present, move indoors and begin warming yourself up.

“Extreme cold puts everyone at risk,” the advisory said.

The Weather Network is predicting highs of -27 on Tuesday, -30 on Wednesday, -30 on Thursday and -24 on Friday.

The lowest temperature they’re calling for is -39, the low expected for Wednesday night.

The wind chill is also expected to linger in the -35 to -40 range throughout the week.

When the wind chill dips below -40, the frostbite risk becomes very high, and the time it takes to get frostbite drops to as little as five minutes.

Wind chill is a term used to describe how much colder the wind makes unprotected skin feel.

While wind doesn’t change the temperature outside, it affects skin temperature because wind steals body heat by blowing away the warm air that surrounds the kin.

With the cold air lingering over western Canada, the Canadian Red Cross is also reminding people about how to protect themselves in cold weather.

“It is important for everyone enjoying the outdoors to know how to recognize when someone has been exposed to cold for too long, prevent cold-related emergencies, and be able to provide help when needed,” The Red Cross says on their website.

It advises people to cover their bodies with layers of tightly-woven fabrics such as wool or synthetics, covering up their exposed areas such as fingers, cheeks, ears and nose.

It also tells people to ensure they get into dry clothes as soon as possible if they get wet and to drink plenty of warm fluids, but avoid caffeine and alcohol.

“When a person is exposed to cold temperatures it may result in a decrease in body temperature, which is called a cold-related emergency,” the Red Cross said.

“Hypothermia, one type of emergency, can happen to anyone who is exposed to cold temperatures for too long, and it can be life-threatening.

They provided the following tips to help someone dealing with hypothermia or frostbite:

• Call EMS/9-1-1 for severe hypothermia.

• Treat the person gently and monitor breathing carefully.

• Get the person away from the cold and into shelter.

• Remove any wet clothing and gently dry the person.

• Warm the person by wrapping him or her in blankets or putting on dry clothing. Cover the head and neck. Warm the person slowly.

• If hot water bottles or heating pads are available put them under armpits, around the groin and back of the neck being careful not to burn these areas.

• Do not rub areas that appear to be affected by frostbite.

• If the person is alert, give him or her sips of warm liquids to drink.

• Active re-warming such as hot baths should be used only when the person is far from a medical facility.