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For Release: Tuesday, December 26, 2017

DEC Warns of Extremely Cold Temperatures in the Adirondacks

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation warns outdoor enthusiasts that extreme cold temperatures and wind chills are forecast across the Adirondacks through the upcoming holiday weekend. Those planning to venture outdoors - particularly those heading in the Adirondack backcountry - must take precautions to avoid hypothermia and frostbite.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a wind chill advisory for most of the Adirondacks for Wednesday with expected wind chills of -15 to -25 below zero. This will cause frostbite to exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes.

This is the start of a prolonged stretch of very cold temperatures with even more dangerous wind chill conditions likely developing Wednesday night and Thursday. High temperatures through the weekend are forecast to be in single digits above and below zero while the low temperatures are forecast to be in teens and twenties below zero.

Wind chills will be much worse. Temperatures and wind chills will be even lower on high mountain summits, surface of water bodies and other exposed area. The NWS forecast for the summit of Mt. Marcy midday on Wednesday is: Temperature, -13; Winds, 32 mph; and Wind Chill, -43.

DEC advises those who venture into the outdoors to take following steps to avoid frostbite and hypothermia:

  • Wear items of clothing to cover all skin including:
    • Layers of synthetic or wool winter clothing
    • Warm socks and winter boots
    • Insulated, wind resistant upper and lower outer shell
    • Hat and gloves or mittens
    • Scarf or ski mask
    • Goggles or glasses
  • Hike, snowshoe, and ski on low elevation, wooded trails
  • Spend only short periods of time in the outdoors
  • Avoid high elevation summits and other exposed areas
  • Winds will create low wind chill temperatures band white out conditions
  • If you do go despite the warnings, be sure to carry a sleeping bag and

Adirondack Backcountry Information web pages on the DEC website provide additional and more specific information.

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    P.O. Box 296
    1115 NYS Route 86
    Ray Brook, NY 12977
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