Weather Service Warns Of Dangerously Frigid Temperatures

Elise Foley

By Elise FoleyThe Daily Northwestern

Communication freshman Jenny Pan went out Friday night, and the experience convinced her to stay in Saturday.

“I felt like my face and my ears were going to fall off,” Pan said. “I didn’t realize how cold it was.”

Evanston has been experiencing its lowest temperatures for February since 1996, according to the National Weather Service.

The predicted high for Monday is 2 degrees Fahrenheit, with a low of about minus 2 degrees, according to the weather service’s Web site.

People should remain inside as much as possible, said Charles Mott, a weather service meteorologist in Chicago.

“There’s a wind-chill advisory out telling people not to go outside unless it’s absolutely necessary,” Mott said. “Make sure you wear gloves and hats.”

There is some concern that people will not heed advice to stay inside. Super Bowl events Sunday might encourage people to go out, Mott said.

“With everything going on, people will go out,” Mott said. “Around game time it will be around zero to negative five degrees. If people are out more than 20 minutes, they’re in trouble.”

Cold weather could lead to frostbite, said Dr. Ernest Wang of Evanston Hospital.

“You don’t have to be outside very long if the weather is really low,” Wang said. “A good rule of thumb is if you start to feel numb in your nose, ears and fingers, it’s time to get inside.”

Wearing multiple layers on these areas can help protect against frostbite, Wang said. Symptoms of frostbite include numbness, tingling, swelling and pain.

Wang said if students believe they have frostbite, they should not rub the skin or go back outside without coverage to prevent further damage.

“If pain or numbness persists, you should get help,” Wang said.

Students looking to escape the cold this week can ride the Frostbite Express, which begins running Monday.

The Frostbite Express is a shuttle service provided by the Office of Student Affairs. It runs roughly every 20 minutes from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays when the temperature is below 10 degrees Fahrenheit, according to an e-mail sent to students Saturday.

The shuttle’s schedule can be found at www.univsvcs.northwestern.edu/shuttles/

frost.htm.

For freshmen from warm climates, the cold weather is a difficult adjustment.

Pan, who is from California, said she is still not used to the cold weather.

“The weather here is about 100 degrees colder than at home,” Pan said. “The first thing my mom and I did when we came for New Student Week was buy the thickest coat we could find.”

Pan said she plans to take the Frostbite Express this week, although she heard it is unreliable.

David Henning, a McCormick freshman from Florida, also said he will use the shuttle service.

“I’ll just bundle up like everyone else,” Henning said.

The cold weather is expected to continue through the week, Mott said.

“We won’t see the 20s until Friday, ” he said.

Reach Elise Foley at [email protected]