Extreme Cold Warning Tonight, Possible Light Snowfall

ice-scraperOutside temperatures this week are forecast to be the coldest the county has experienced in a few years.

Hypothermia is a condition brought on when the body temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Warning signs include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion.

If you see an unsheltered person at night who may be at risk of hypothermia, call the non-emergency phone line at 703-691-2131, TTY 711; emergency personnel will determine which shelter option is best in the situation. Fairfax County’s emergency homeless shelters have additional capacity during winter months to take in people overnight who are at risk of hypothermia.

Many people must continue to work outside and should follow these simple safety tips to avoid weather-related illness or injury.

  • Avoid exhaustion or fatigue; energy is needed to keep muscles warm.
  • Wear clothing in layers that can be adjusted for changing conditions.
  • Drink warm, sweet beverages (sugar water, sports-type drinks); avoid drinks with caffeine (coffee, tea, sodas or hot chocolate).

Don’t Forget Your Pets

Pets should be kept indoors during winter months. If a pet is outdoors, by law, it must be provided with shelter.

  • Don’t let dogs off their leash or they may get lost and suffer from cold-weather related problems.
  • Snow and salt should be removed from pets’ paws immediately to avoid burning the paw pads. Use a pet-safe de-icing salt.
  • Outdoor pets require extra calories to keep warm so feed your pet a little more during cold winter months.
  • Be sure your pet’s water doesn’t freeze while outdoors by using a heated water source.

Read more winter pet safety tips.

Chance of Snow Overnight

According to an updated National Weather Service, areas of light snow up to an 1/2 inch are possible overnight from 10 p.m. this evening through 6 a.m. tomorrow, Thursday, Jan. 24. There is a potential of up to 1 inch of accumulation, with a very slight chance of 2 inches in some localized areas. With low temperatures and the ground already frozen, however, whatever snow falls will likely stick to the ground and area roads.

Stay in touch with the weather. Get the latest NWS forecast and consider purchasing a NOAA weather radio.


About the Author

Truman Lewis
A former reporter and bureau chief, Truman Lewis has covered presidential campaigns, state politics and stories ranging from organized crime to environmental and consumer protection.