With overnight temperatures dropping more than 20 degrees below the freezing mark, it's especially important to get bundled up in warm winter gear to avoid winter weather-related ailments.
The risk of frostbite occurs when the skin is exposed to extremely cold temperatures and is caused by freezing of the skin and underlying tissues.
Adam Loria is with Alberta Health Services and tells us what to look for, he says "First, your skin becomes very cold and red, then numb, hard and pale. Frostbite is most common on the fingers, toes, nose, ears, cheeks and chin."
While frostbite is treatable, it can be quite serious. Loria says "There are essentially three degrees of frostbite. First being the least severe and second and third being much more serious. Quite frankly, most of us have probably had first-degree frostbite. So that's really when those areas I mentioned before become cold, red and numb but once you go into a warm area or cover them up, it subsides quite quickly. Once you get into more serious cases of second and third those could be limb-threatening and would obviously include medical intervention."
Loria says that although you can still get frostbite when the skin is covered up; skin exposed to cold, windy weather is the most vulnerable. Loria also says that extremely severe cases of being exposed to prolonged cold temperatures can lead to hypothermia.
"Hypothermia can definitely be a factor. Initial symptoms of hypothermia are when a person is acting incoherently, stumbling, mumbling and not making sense. Hypothermia could be life-threatening if not treated properly and promptly.
Temperatures in Cochrane are expected to drop down to minus 28 tonight, which will significantly increase the risk of frostbite and hypothermia.