This is one of those days where even Randy might not be bundled up enough.
Frigid temps continue to call Minnesota home, with thermometers once again dipping well below zero. (For a specific forecast, punch in your ZIP code here.)
The National Weather Service says northern Minnesota won't get out of the negative Wednesday, while the southern half of the state could inch up into the very low single digits. At night, the lows will plummet – everywhere in the state will hit at least -10.
There's a wind chill advisory from about Willmar and St. Cloud all the way to the Canadian border through Wednesday morning, with the wind chill itself expected to be around -25 or -30 degrees.
How quickly can frostbite become an issue?
The National Weather Service uses the word "dangerous" or phrase "dangerously cold" when temps and wind chills sink this low. That's because exposed skin can end up frostbitten in less time than it takes to get through a Vine compilation.
If the temperature is -5 and the wind is blowing at about 10 mph, the wind chill at that point is -22. Skin that isn't covered could get frostbite in 30 minutes.
At -15 with wind gusts of 25 mph, the wind chill is -44 – and can lead to frostbite in 10 minutes.
The National Weather Service has a chart to calculate this. Find the current temperature along the top, and line it up with the wind speed along the Y axis. The corresponding box tells you the wind chill, with the color showing how fast frostbite can happen.
The levels of frostbite
There are different levels of frostbite. It can be just superficial, for instance, and might even be "frostnip." That's the first stage, when your skin gets red or pale and goes numb (maybe even feels tingly or prickly), Mayo Clinic says. That's generally not something that will permanently damage the skin, as long as you don't keep the area exposed.
The next levels are more serious.
According to HCMC, if your reddened/pale skin starts to feel warm, there might be some nerve and tissue damage. Mayo Clinic says ice crystals can even form in there. After the area warms up again, you can get blisters in the couple days that follow.
The final stage kills the tissue. If exposed and out in the cold too long, the layers of skin will freeze and tissue beneath the surface will die. All feeling goes away, the joints and muscles stop working, and even after being warmed up the area turns black and hardens, HCMC and Mayo Clinic say.
If it becomes that severe, you'e looking at surgery and amputation.
Avoid the frigid cold, but if you have to go out, layer up and cover as much skin as you can. And if you feel even frostnip setting in, find some warmth.