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US is so cold people could get frostbite if they're outside for just minutes

Callum Jones

Published 
| Last updated 

US is so cold people could get frostbite if they're outside for just minutes

Featured Image Credit: REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo Hemis / Alamy Stock Photo

As a result of a major storm that is currently battering parts of the US, temperatures may drop as low as -45C in some places.

Over 200 million - about two thirds of the US population - have been affected by the weather warning, with it also impacting parts of Canada and even reaching as far as Mexico.

The storm has been branded a 'once-in-a-generation' event by experts, which began in the Pacific Northtwest on Tuesday (20 December).

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It has even been predicted that something called a 'bomb cyclone' could drop today (23 December) - this is when the storm gathers momentum as the air pressure drastically drops.

Obviously, these extreme conditions are going to impact people - with experts warning of the impact the bitter temperatures could do.

The 'once-in-a-generation' storm is battering parts of the US. Credit: Stacy Walsh Rosenstock / Alamy Stock Photo
The 'once-in-a-generation' storm is battering parts of the US. Credit: Stacy Walsh Rosenstock / Alamy Stock Photo

If temperatures do hit as low as -45C, the National Weather Service has warned that exposure could lead to frostbite in just five to ten minutes.

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Frostbite is damage to skin and tissue caused by exposure to extreme temperatures.

The most likely areas to be affected by frostbite hands, feet, ears, nose and lips - though other parts of the body can also be exposed.

Frostbite will usually start with the parts of your body being cold and painful, but may then turn to pins and needles if you continued to be exposed to the extreme cold.

If it continues, the area will become numb as the tissue has frozen.

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In rare cases, frostbite can also lead to amputation being required, so it is important that you avoid the extreme temperatures and stay indoors if you can.

The National Weather Service has also said that people in major metro areas such as Des Moines should be weary of the major danger of frostbite.

Experts have warned the extreme cold cause frostbite very quickly. Credit: Agencja Fotograficzna Caro / Alamy Stock Photo
Experts have warned the extreme cold cause frostbite very quickly. Credit: Agencja Fotograficzna Caro / Alamy Stock Photo

US president Joe Biden has also warned of the dangers this storm and the extreme temperatures can cause.

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In a press briefing last night, Biden said: "This is not like a snow day, you know, when you were a kid; this is serious stuff.

"My team is prepared to help communities weather this — no pun intended — this storm, this — this freeze, and — because we need to cope.

"They need to be able to cope if it’s necessary."

In recent days, the governors of New York, Kentucky, North Carolina, West Virginia, Georgia and Oklahoma have all declared states of emergency.

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Even traditionally warmer states such as Florida are being subjected to temperatures below freezing.

The storm has also had a major effect on air travel, with more than 5,000 scheduled US flights cancelled on Thursday and Friday.

Topics: News, US News, Weather

Callum Jones
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