Cold Weather Alert Terminated: January 30, 2014: As a result of more mild conditions and the Environment Canada forecast calling for conditions over the next few days that fall outside of the Cold Weather Alert criteria, we are terminating the Cold Weather Alert effective immediately.
January 24, 2014: Based on current Environment Canada weather statements
for Elgin County areas, the Acting Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Franklin Warsh,
is EXTENDING THE COLD WEATHER ALERT for Elgin County until Thursday January 30th.
Environment Canada has stated that an Arctic low pressure system will be tracking
through Southern Ontario Saturday with very strong and gusty southwesterly winds
in advance of the low, being forecast to begin Friday afternoon. Wind speeds of
40 to 60 km/h are likely across the region with gusts to 80 km/h possible near the
Great Lake shores. The combination of the strong gusty winds will add to the severity
of predicted air temperatures. The Health Unit will continue to monitor the weather
conditions regularly as conditions may change.
A Cold Weather Alert is initiated in the following circumstances, when one or more
of these criteria are met:
- Daily predicted low temperature of -15° Celsius without wind chill; or
- The wind chill reaches the level at which Environment Canada issues a warning for
outdoor activity for people in the Elgin County area via London airport weather
- Predict extreme weather conditions, such as a blizzard or ice storm.
January 20, 2014: The Acting Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Franklin Warsh,
has issued a COLD WEATHER ALERT for Elgin County. Based on the Environment Canada
forecast, air temperatures are predicted to fall to daily lows of -18° Celsius
and persist for the next several days with extreme wind chills until Friday January
This 3rd Cold Weather Alert for 2014 will be in effect until Friday, January 24th,
when daytime temperatures are forecast to moderate. Extreme caution is advised for
people heading outdoors. Exposed skin may freeze in less than 5 minutes.
The residents of Elgin County should take precautions during this cold weather alert.
Overexposure to cold may result in hypothermia, which occurs when a person's body
temperature drops below normal. Normal body temperature ranges from 36.1 to 37.8°
Celsius (97 to 100° Fahrenheit).
Symptoms of hypothermia may include:
- pale skin
- confusion and hallucinations
- In the initial stages a person may shiver considerably, but as their body temperature
drops, shivering may also decrease
In a severe case of hypothermia a person may display the following symptoms:
- the person is unconscious
- breathing is shallow
- pulse is irregular and hard to detect
- If someone is found with these symptoms, immediate emergency medical treatment is
necessary to prevent coma or death.
If you suspect someone may be suffering from hypothermia:
- seek medical attention immediately
- if possible, move the person to a warm area and dress them in warm clothing
- offer warm water, juice or milk
- do not offer alcohol or hot drinks
To avoid hypothermia or frostbite people are advised to:
- dress warmly; layer clothing
- wear a hat - 30% of body heat escapes through the head
- avoid alcohol
- drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration (please note that drinks containing
caffeine can dehydrate)
- limit outdoor activity
Symptoms of frostbite include:
- skin turning red, blue or a gray/white
- pain, numbness and stiffness, especially in fingers, toes, ears and nose which are
If you suspect frostbite:
- warm the affected area next to warmer skin or immerse in warm, not hot
- do not rub the area; re-warming may take 30-60 minutes
- seek emergency medical treatment for a severe, blistering case of frostbite
What the Public Can Do During a Cold Weather Alert
Members of the public can help by checking on elderly and handicapped neighbours
to ensure they are not experiencing any difficulties related to cold temperatures
and to call Emergency Services for help if needed.