October 20, 2021

Bracing for biting temps

Colder-than-normal weather expected for 2 more weeks

S.N. Briere/ staff reporter

Dave Gray, a clerk at the Cortland County Post Office, braves the freezing temperatures Monday to quickly grab some hot coffee for himself and a co-worker from Bru 64. The National Weather Service said to expect below-average temperatures for the next couple of weeks.

Gail Neely of Newfield walked briskly Monday down Court Street in Cortland after picking up a police report. She was bundled head to toe in extra layers.

“I have on my very heaviest sweater I wear once or twice a year,” she said. She also had on several extra layers and was happy for the face mask keeping her warm.

While the sun was shining Monday, the temperatures started off in single digits and got to 19 degrees, with wind at 6 mph, the wind chill making it feel more like 12 or 13 degrees.

National Weather Service meteorologist Bryan Greenblatt said Monday’s cold was due to radiational cooling — when the Earth continues to radiate the warmth gained during the day outward into the air and the change in air mass lowers temperatures.

“That causes the really cold temperatures,” Greenblatt said.

Greenblatt said this week’s temperatures are expected to be 10 degrees below normal. Typically at this time of year, the Binghamton station clocks high temperatures around 30 degrees. The Syracuse station sees perhaps 33 degrees. This week’s temperatures will be in the 20-degree range, not including wind chill.

Part of the cold will also come from a cold air system that is sweeping much of the nation this week, leaving some areas of the Midwest in minus-30 degree range. Greenblatt said the greater Cortland area won’t get hit as hard as the Midwest, but it will see lower temperatures from it.

The weather service’s Climate Prediction Center showed those lower temperatures sticking around for a while. The six- to 10-day forecast suggests a 70% to 80% chance of temperatures being below normal. The eight- to 14-day forecast showed a 60% to 70% chance of temperatures below normal.

“I would definitely say bundle up and try to stay warm,” Greenblatt said.

Homer Fire Chief Mahlon Irish Jr. said people need to be careful when using space heaters and salamander heating units.

“Make sure they’re always from combustibles,” Irish said. Salamander units need to be properly ventilated otherwise they release carbon monoxide, which can kill people.

Irish also said vents to heaters need to be cleared to be properly ventilated.

Dave Gray, a clerk at the Cortland Post Office, ran out into the cold Monday and a few doors down to Bru 64 to grab some hot coffee for him and a co-worker. He said mail carriers are keeping warm by layering up this week as they continue to deliver mail.

Stay safe, stay warm

  • Wear a hat, a scarf or knit mask, snug sleeves, mittens and water-resistant coat and boots.
  • Wear layers: An inner layer of wool, silk or polypropylene that holds body heat and doesn’t absorb moisture; an insulation layer of wool, goose down or fleece; and an outer layer to protect you from wind and snow. It should be tightly woven and water and wind resistant.
  • Stay dry. Wet clothing chills the body quickly.
  • Avoid sweating. It will cause your body to lose more heat, so remove extra layers of clothing whenever you feel too warm.
  • Avoid getting gasoline or alcohol on your skin. Getting these materials on your skin will cause your body to lose a lot more heat.
  • Do not ignore shivering. It’s an important first sign that your body is losing heat.

SOURCE: National Centers for Disease Control and Prevention