clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

You can get frostbite in as few as 5 minutes in Chicago Wednesday

A woman covers her face with her gloved hands to stay warm, in The Loop, Friday afternoon, while temperatures were well below freezing, Friday, Jan. 25, 2019, in Chicago. | Tyler LaRiviere/Sun-Times

As Chicagoans brace for a historic streak of subzero temperatures on Wednesday and Thursday, the National Weather Service is warning residents about how quickly frostbite can occur.

Temperatures could plummet to minus-24 degrees early Wednesday morning, with wind gusts of up to 30 miles per hour, the National Weather Service says.

Those temps can cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as five minutes, the weather service warns. Even if temperatures increase to minus-15 later Wednesday, the forecasted high, winds of 15-20 miles per hour with gusts of 30 mph mean frostbite could strike in as few as 10 minutes.

Although it could get colder Wednesday night, with predicted lows of minus-26, lower wind speeds mean you’d still risk frostbite in about 10 minutes.

The National Weather Service’s windchill chart shows how quickly Chicagoans can get frostbite during this week’s cold snap. | National Weather Service
The National Weather Service’s windchill chart shows how quickly Chicagoans can get frostbite during this week’s cold snap. | National Weather Service

Chicagoans should stay indoors and check on their neighbors for the next two days, city officials said Tuesday.

The city will open 142 public buildings and facilities in the next two days as warming centers.

RELATED

6 ways to keep pets safe during dangerously cold weather

Here’s everything closing during Chicago’s dangerous cold snap