Winter doesn’t officially begin until Sunday but Mother Nature has other ideas.
Between three and five inches of snow fell Monday night and Tuesday in Marion County.
It all began with fall-like, windy conditions Saturday, followed by gale-force winds Sunday, sending the mercury to single digits overnight.
Most Marion County residents awoke Monday morning to a frosty temperature of zero to three degrees. By noon, the temperature had risen to 11 degrees. The only break was little or no wind on Monday.
It went from bad to worse overnight Monday with several inches of snow covering the county. At noon Tuesday, snow continued fall and the temperature remained in the single digits.
Luckily as of Tuesday there was no wind with the snow storm.
The weather forecast doesn’t look too promising for the rest of the week of additional moisture anticipated with temperatures remaining cold.
With the weather suddenly becoming winter in true Kansas fashion, residents are reminded to use caution when being outdoors.
Exposure can occur in minutes.
First-degree exposure is when a person experiences an aching, tingling sensation with cold and numbness. The skin usually turns red.
Second-degree exposure occurs when a person’s skin turns pale gray and waxy white.
The most severe is third-degree. When this occurs, there is no blood flow and the skin on extremities turns black.
The best treatment is to gently handle the affected area. Do not use water to warm affected areas.
Cover cheeks with warm hands until pain returns. To warm fingers, place uncovered under arm pits or on the belly.
Avoid rubbing or massaging feet. Instead place bare feet against belly of a companion. Don’t pop blisters.
By routinely exercising face, fingers, and toes, a person can keep blood flowing.
Hypothermia is when a person’s body heat loss exceeds the rate the body can produce heat.
Symptoms of hypothermia is intense shivering, feeling of deep/cold numbness, muscle tensing, fatigue, poor coordination, disorientation, blueness of skin, slow, weak, irregular pulse, slurred speech, dullness, and apathy.
Treatment includes immediately raising body temperature, seek shelter from wind and weather, replace wet clothing with dry, increase exercise if possible, drink hot drinks and eat hot foods, use hot packs/hand warmers under armpits and in groin area, share body warmth, and get in a warm sleeping bag.
The best advice is to remain out of the weather as much as possible, especially infants, elderly, and those with medical conditions.