File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / gwhittonFile photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / gwhitton

UPDATE: Extreme Cold Warning lifted for Chatham-Kent, Windsor

It's still cold outside, but if you are in Chatham-Kent or Windsor, it's not cold enough to warrant an Extreme Cold Warning.

Environment Canada issued the warning for much of southwestern Ontario, including London-Middlesex, Elgin County, Oxford County, Chatham-Kent, and Windsor-Essex Tuesday morning after an arctic air mass parked over the region, bringing frigid temperatures and bone-chilling wind chill values.

"Overnight low temperatures between minus 20 and minus 25 degrees combined with winds gusting between 50 and 70 km/h will result in wind chill values in the range of minus 30 to minus 35," the weather agency said.

The alert was lifted for Chatham-Kent and Windsor-Essex late in the evening on Thursday, January 31, but it remains in effect for London and the surrounding area.

The cold weather prompted the Middlesex London Health Unit to issue its third Cold Weather Alert of the season on Monday, while officials in Windsor recorded new low temperatures this week.

The extreme cold that continues to blanket southwestern Ontario can cause frostbite and hypothermia. Health officials recommend that anyone spending any time outdoors keep an eye out for the symptoms of frostbite, which include skin turning red, blue, or grayish-white. Pain, numbness, and stiffness can also be felt by people experiencing frostbite. In the event a person develops frostbite, the health unit says they should warm the affected area by placing it next to warmer skin or immerse it in warm, but not hot, water. The affected area should not be rubbed. People with severe cases of frostbite should seek emergency medical treatment.

The extreme cold also increases the risk of hypothermia, which takes hold when a person’s internal body temperature drops below normal. According to the health unit, symptoms can include pale skin, drowsiness, confusion, and hallucinations. Severe cases can cause a loss of consciousness, shallow breathing, and a hard to detect a pulse. Anyone exhibiting these symptoms should be taken for immediate medical treatment.

Environment Canada said conditions should improve by Friday afternoon as milder air moves into the region.

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