UK weather forecast: THIS COLD CAN KILL–caught outside and you could be dead in 30 minutes | Science | News

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As Britain faced bone-chilling temperatures this week as low as -15C experts warned a combination of frostbite and hypothermia could kill a man in half an hour.

Emergency services warnings across the country were to stay indoors unless your journey is vital – and if you need to go out wrap-up well, preferably in specialist snow gear.

Parts of the UK are set to feel as cold as the Arctic Circle as the wind will make the already blistering cold snap feel even more freezing.

Widespread snow is forecast, and the Met Office has issued yellow weather warnings for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

And amber warning means a risk to human life.

By the end of Wednesday, more than 20cm of snow may will have fallen in some parts of eastern England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Met Office meteorologist Charlie Powell said: “The UK is on track for some really cold weather this week. It’s not going to be record-breaking, but it’ll be pretty exceptional – winds are going to make it feel minus 10C to minus 15C during the day.”

According to scientists, leaving skin open to these temperatures, particularly fingers and toes where blood flow is often restricted anyway, one can contract frostbite in as little as 30 minutes.

Frostbite usually starts with the affected areas feeling numb and painful.

If the issue is not dealt with soon enough, this can lead to pins and needles and numbness as the tissue begins to freeze.

In some cases, the damage is irreversible, which may have to lead to amputation of extremities such as fingers and toes.

While there is no threat directly from frostbite, the frozen tissue in the skin can easily lead to a gangrenous infection.

Gangrene can then cause sepsis and a long and drawn out death.

The National Weather Service (NWS) says: “The arctic air, together with brisk winds, can lead to dangerously cold wind chill values.

“People exposed to extreme cold are susceptible to frostbite in a matter of minutes.

“Areas most prone to frostbite are uncovered skin and the extremities, such as hands and feet.”

Another problem that Britons may encounter this week in the freezing cold temperatures is hypothermia.

Hypothermia is when the body loses heat faster than it can produce it.

The normal body temperature is 37C, but if you drop beneath 35C then you can fall into a hypothermic state.

Symptoms of hypothermia include extreme shivering, slurred speech, fast breathing and confusion.

These are only the mild symptoms of hypothermia and the NHS says: “If their temperature drops to 32C or lower, they’ll usually stop shivering completely and may pass out.

“This is a sign that their condition is getting worse and emergency medical help is needed.”

Hypothermia can kill you within an hour if it is not treated, but much quicker if you are wet.

Hypothermia slows the heart rate and will continue to do so until it stops.



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