Yikes! So far that crown prince of groundhogs, Punxsutawney Phil, has that six more weeks of winter thing pegged 8 days into his prediction.

Not only are we bracing for a pretty good amount of more snow in the next few days, the National Weather Service has issued a Wind Chill Warning. Here are the particulars and some precautionary advice.

The warning will be in effect from 10:00 p.m. this evening (February 10) until noon Thursday. Dangerously cold wind chills are expected, possibly at low as 55 below zero.

The primary areas of concern are: Bad Rock Canyon, Essex, U.S. Highway 83 from Bigfork to Swan Lake and Seeley Lake to Condon, Marias Pass, Polebridge, U.S. Highway 200 from Bonner to Greenough, and Interstate 90 from Missoula to Bearmouth.

We can also anticipate blowing and drifting show, as more is predicted through Friday, with possible valley accumulations of 4 to 6 inches more snow. For example, the Missoula forecast calls for a low tonight of around -3. Wind chill values as low as -24 due to east winds of 23 to 28 mph. Tomorrow night's low expected to be around -8. And wind chill values as low as -34.

It's pretty much advice you've heard all your lives, but here's some tips from the National Weather Service to refresh your memories.

The dangerously cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 5 minutes. Avoid outside activities if possible. When outside, make sure you wear appropriate clothing, a hat and gloves.

Avoid overexertion when shoveling snow. Overexertion can bring on a heart attack - a major cause of death in the winter. If you must shovel snow, stretch before going outside.

Keep dry. Change wet clothing frequently to prevent a loss of body heat. Wet clothing loses all of its insulating value and transmits heat rapidly.

Watch for signs of frostbite. These include loss of feeling and white or pale appearance in extremities such as fingers, toes, ear lobes, and the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, get medical help immediately.

Please be extra cautious, okay? That includes when driving, as road conditions are going to be very tricky as well.


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