TOMPKINS COUNTY, N.Y. –– Stay warm this weekend folks, public officials are warning that temps will likely be down to single digits with wind chill adding an extra level of harshness as an arctic blast sweeps through the region.

According to the Tompkins County Department of Emergency Response, forecasters are predicting very cold arctic air will pour into the area beginning Thursday afternoon and last through much of Sunday.

Wind chill values below zero (dipping to as low as -10) are expected Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings. The wind chills will rebound in the afternoon to only the single digits and low teens for most areas, according to meteorologist David Nicosia with the National Weather Service in Binghamton.

Residents should be prepared and take precautions to protect themselves from cold-related emergencies like frostbite and hypothermia.

Signs of hypothermia to look out for if you do venture outdoors include shivering, exhaustion, confusion, fumbling of hands, memory loss, slurred speech, and drowsiness.

In addition be aware of signs of frostbite including a lack of feeling in the affected area; skin that appears waxy, is cold to the touch, or is discolored (flushed, white or gray, yellow or blue).

To best prepare yourself for the weekend ahead, follow these American Red Cross safety tips for extremely cold weather:

  • Dress appropriately and avoid staying in the cold too long. Wear a hat and gloves when appropriate with layers of clothing. Avoid unnecessary exposure.
  • Drink plenty of warm fluids or warm water but avoid caffeine and alcohol.
  • Take frequent breaks from the cold.
  • Get out of the cold immediately if the signs of hypothermia or frostbite appear.

For more information on winter weather safety, visit www.tompkinsready.org.

Anna Lamb

Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at alamb@ithacavoice.com