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Sunday, February 15: Extreme Cold Warning in effect

8:03 AM EST Sunday 15 February 2015

Extreme Cold Warning in effect for:

Ottawa North - Kanata - Orléans

Ottawa South - Richmond - Metcalfe

A prolonged period of very cold wind chills continues.

Bitterly cold arctic air is being ushered in by stiff northerly winds. As a result, wind chills values of minus 35 to minus 40 are expected today. Areas east of Georgian Bay may see wind chills as cold as minus 45, especially this morning.

Tonight will be clear and very cold. Although the winds will diminish somewhat, extreme wind chill values of minus 35 to minus 40 are expected tonight and into Monday morning.

People outdoors should exercise extreme caution. Frostbite on exposed skin may occur in just a few minutes.

While anyone who isn’t dressed warmly is at risk in cold weather conditions, some are at greater risk than others for frost bite and hypothermia: - homeless people - outdoor workers - people living in homes that are poorly insulated (with no heat or no power) - people with certain medical conditions such as diabetes, peripheral neuropathy and diseases affecting the blood vessels, people taking certain medications including beta-blockers - winter sport enthusiasts - people who consume excess alcohol - infants and - seniors.

Wear appropriate clothing. - Always wear clothing appropriate for the weather. Synthetic and wool fabrics provide better insulation. Some synthetic fabrics are designed to keep perspiration away from your body which keep you dry and further reduce your risk. - Dress in layers with a wind resistant outer layer. You can remove layers if you get too warm (before you start sweating) or add a layer if you get cold. - Wear warm socks, gloves, a hat and scarf in cold weather. Be sure to cover your nose to protect it. - If you get wet, change into dry clothing as soon as possible. You lose heat faster when you’re wet.

Protect yourself. - On sunny days wear sun glasses, lip balm and sunscreen to protect your skin from UV and keep it moisturized to help prevent windburn. - Wear a face mask and goggles if you are participating in winter activities such as skiing, snowmobiling and skating to protect your face from frostbite and windburn. - Keep moving (especially your hands and feet) to keep your blood flowing and maintain your body heat. - Drink enough fluids, but avoid very cold drinks and consume warm meals regularly.

Avoid alcohol. - Consuming alcohol before you go out in the cold may increase your risk of hypothermia because it increases blood flow to the extremities of the body. You may actually feel warm even though you are losing heat.

Environment Canada meteorologists will update alerts as required, so stay tuned to your local media or Weatheradio. Email reports of severe weather to storm.ontario@ec.gc.ca or tweet with the hashtag #ONStorm.