Arctic cold front ready to blow in

Published Dec 11, 2017 at 4:00pm

A low-pressure clipper system will combine with an arctic cold front to bring up to a foot of snow and temperatures around zero degrees to Rome and Oneida County this week before temperatures rise this weekend.

Meteorologist Mike Murphy of the National Weather Service in Binghamton said residents in Rome and Oneida County may expect light flurries this evening before a winter weather advisory takes hold for the region. The advisory will last from 7 tonight though approximately 5 p.m. Wednesday.

“We will likely see light snowfall until about midnight when more snow will start falling,” Murphy said.

The weather should improve later in the week, but Oneida County won’t experience warmer temperatures until the weekend. “We expect temperatures to reach 40 degrees by Sunday,” Murphy said.

Snowfall is expected to be between six inches and a foot. Murphy said residents should take appropriate measures in advance of the heavy weather.

“Everyone should dress warm, and be ready to clear off their vehicle and shovel,” he said. “They also should plan to leave a little earlier than usual to reach their destinations safely.”

Tire sales in Rome have been up, but Larry Casalenuovo, owner of Pat’s Tires, said that is nothing unusual.

“We have seen a spike in tire sales in about the past month, but that’s normal for this time of year,” he said.

Vehicle owners should take care of their tires during cold weather months. “Be sure your tires are properly inflated, and make sure they have enough rubber on them” Casalenuovo said. “Too many people are driving around with thin tires.”

The American Automobile Association recommends motorists avoid driving while fatigued and always keep a gas tank at least half-full to avoid gas line freeze.

They also should drive slowly and accelerate and decelerate slowly, and increase dry pavement following time between vehicles from three-to-four seconds to eight-to-10 seconds.

Beware of hypothermia

The arctic cold front will cause temperatures will reach 15 degrees Tuesday and will fall to zero degrees Wednesday. “It will be around 20 degrees but the wind chill will bring temperatures down to zero,” Murphy said. “Everyone should take precautions to avoid hypothermia.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, hypothermia occurs when the body loses heat faster than it can produce it. Normal body temperature is around 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit and hypothermia begins when the body’s temperature falls below 95 degrees.

Hypothermia symptoms include shivering, slurred speech or mumbling, clumsiness, drowsiness, confusion and memory loss. Residents are urged to call 911 if they suspect someone is suffering from hypothermia.

The Mayo Clinic suggests the following safety tips in anticipation of arctic weather:

Cover. Wear a hat and other protective clothing to prevent body heat from escaping from the head, face and neck. Wear mittens instead of gloves.

Avoid overexertion. Stay away from activities that cause excessive sweating.

Wear layers. Wear loose-fitting, levered, lightweight clothing. Use water-repellent, tightly-woven clothes for outer layers and wind protection. Wool, silk and polypropylene hold body heat better than cotton. Use them for inner layers.

Stay dry. Get out of wet clothing as a soon as possible, and keep hands and feet dry.

Parents should have children come indoors frequently in extreme weather, and bring them inside if they start shivering. Avoid alcohol.