Weather Alert – Spring put on hold for much of the central and eastern U.S.
More snow possible across parts of the Midwest to the Northeast and the Mid-Atlantic region
A powerful storm is expected to churn the waters off of the East Coast Tue evening.
Below normal temperatures are expected to continue across much of the U.S. east of the Rockies as another arctic high slides southeast out of western Canada into the central U.S., fortifying the cold air already in place.
The leading edge of the initial shot of cold air is expected to settle and stall across south Florida and the central Gulf of Mexico today, with scattered showers and thunderstorms persisting along and to the north of the stalled front.
Storms are expected to become better organized by this evening across central Florida as a weak upper disturbance moves through the eastern Gulf.
As this feature moves off of the Southeast coast early Tuesday it is expected to begin interacting with a more defined upper-level system moving into the Ohio valley. In addition to more cold air, this northern system is expected to deliver some light precipitation, mainly in the form of snow, forecast to advance eastward from the mid Mississippi valley today and into the Ohio valley this evening, before reaching across the mountains into the Mid-Atlantic region by early Tuesday.
As this system interacts with the system off of the Southeast coast, a powerful low pressure system is expected to develop Tuesday night off of the Mid-Atlantic coast. How much precipitation this system spreads inland late in the period and in the hours that follow will depend greatly upon its track – the details of which are still unclear given the variability in model solutions. However, while the amount of precipitation is in question, cold and very windy conditions are certain along the northern Mid-Atlantic and Northeast coasts by Wednesday morning.
This system may bring extreme cold.
When exposed to cold temperatures, your body begins to lose heat faster than it can be produced. Prolonged exposure to cold will eventually use up your body’s stored energy. The result is hypothermia, or abnormally low body temperature. Body temperature that is too low affects the brain, making the victim unable to think clearly or move well. This makes hypothermia particularly dangerous because a person may not know it is happening and won’t be able to do anything about it.
Hypothermia is most likely at very cold temperatures, but it can occur even at cool temperatures (above 40°F) if a person becomes chilled from rain, sweat, or submersion in cold water.
Victims of hypothermia are often (1) elderly people with inadequate food, clothing, or heating; (2) babies sleeping in cold bedrooms; (3) people who remain outdoors for long periods—the homeless, hikers, hunters, etc.; and (4) people who drink alcohol or use illicit drugs.
Warnings signs of hypothermia:
- shivering, exhaustion
- confusion, fumbling hands
- memory loss, slurred speech
- bright red, cold skin
- very low energy
What to Do
If you notice any of these signs, take the person’s temperature. If it is below 95°, the situation is an emergency—get medical attention immediately.
If medical care is not available, begin warming the person, as follows:
- Get the victim into a warm room or shelter.
- If the victim has on any wet clothing, remove it.
- Warm the center of the body first—chest, neck, head, and groin—using an electric blanket, if available. Or use skin-to-skin contact under loose, dry layers of blankets, clothing, towels, or sheets.
- Warm beverages can help increase the body temperature, but do not give alcoholic beverages. Do not try to give beverages to an unconscious person.
- After body temperature has increased, keep the person dry and wrapped in a warm blanket, including the head and neck.
- Get medical attention as soon as possible.
A person with severe hypothermia may be unconscious and may not seem to have a pulse or to be breathing. In this case, handle the victim gently, and get emergency assistance immediately. Even if the victim appears dead, CPR should be provided. CPR should continue while the victim is being warmed, until the victim responds or medical aid becomes available. In some cases, hypothermia victims who appear to be dead can be successfully resuscitated.