Extreme cold, dangerous conditions will persist this week

Wind chill factors below zero were reported across Kentucky early New Year’s Day, and the National Weather Service warned residents to brace for bitter-cold conditions that will persist through Saturday.

Wind chill advisories and warnings were issued for all regions of the state through mid-day Tuesday. An advisory means wind chill factors are low enough to cause frost bite and hypothermia. A warning means wind chill factors are dangerously low and can lead to death if precautions are not taken to protect against exposure.

“Sub-zero wind chills are likely each night and morning through Friday morning. The coldest wind chills will be Tuesday morning and again Thursday morning when (negative) 5 to (negative) 10 values are likely,” the NWS stated.

Signs of hypothermia include shivering, confusion, difficulty speaking, sleepiness and stiff muscles.

Anyone who must be outdoors should wear at least two layers of clothing, in addition to an overcoat, hat, face mask, gloves and waterproof boots.

Anyone planning to travel during the week should pack a kit for protection in the event they become stranded on the road, the NWS recommended. A travel kit should include blankets, water and protein-rich food, such as energy bars. Cellular phones should be fully charged, and extra power sources could be needed.

The first break in the weather is expected Sunday, when most areas of the state could see temperatures edge above the freezing mark. Highs will hover between 35 and 40 degrees for many areas of the state Sunday.

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