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New year to bring bitterly cold temperatures, biting wind chills

“Out with the old and in with the new” is a common saying as we head into the new year. Unfortunately Mother Nature missed the memo for that. For us here in Mid-Missouri it seems like we’re “Out with the cold and in with the colder air.”

Thanks to waves of Arctic air spilling in from Canada, Mid-Missouri is set to receive the coldest air we’ve seen all season long. It just so happens this cold air will arrive along with the new year.

Since Saturday, thermometers across the region have been below the freezing mark. That’s over 100 consecutive hours of temperatures less than 32 degrees. If trends hold the same, it’s likely we won’t climb above freezing for another week or so. This would bring the coldest stretch of below freezing temperatures we’ve seen in three years. The last time this occurred in Mid-Missouri was in late January and early February of 2014.

If you already have plans for New Year’s Eve, you may want to move the party indoors. With bitterly cold air set to arrive and breezy winds through the weekend, we’ll see wind chills 15-20 degrees below zero. If you’re outside for extended periods of time and not dressed properly, frostbite will begin to set in within 30-45 minutes.

With the extended stretch of cold weather, it’s important to make sure you remain safe if you are going to be outdoors.

– Dress appropriately. In cold weather you want to make sure you wear at least two to three layers of clothes to keep heat trapped near your body.

– If you get wet, immediately change clothes. Not doing so would increase your risk of getting hypothermia, which can impact you within minutes.

– Eat high-calorie foods. This will give your body the energy it needs to keep you warm through the bitterly cold days.

– Drink frequently. Many associate with dehydration with the summer months, but you can actually become dehydrated quicker in cold, dry air like Mid-Missouri is seeing now. This occurs because your body’s thirst response diminishes by about 40 percent, as your body focuses more on maintaining your core body temperature. This can quickly dehydrate you, which is why it’s important to make sure you stay hydrated.

Stay with ABC 17 Stormtrack weather as we continue to track the brutally cold blast for the new year and follow us on Twitter @ABC17Stormtrack.

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