Public Health Advisory for Adams and Arapahoe Counties

Dangerously Cold Temperatures and Wind Chills Predicted for Adams and Arapahoe Counties


Tri-County Health Department is issuing a public health advisory due to dangerously low temperatures and wind chills forecast by the National Weather Service (NWS) for this afternoon, Dec. 21 through Friday morning, Dec. 23. Temperatures will drop rapidly as we head into evening hours. Dangerously cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as five minutes.


Take precautions to protect yourself from the cold:

  • Avoid outside activities if possible. If you have to be outdoors, dress in layers of warm clothing, including a hat, scarf, gloves, and socks.
  • Do not stay outdoors for extended periods.
  • Check on and help family members, friends and neighbors with limited mobility and limited access to heat, such as seniors or those who are ill. Check on them frequently.
  • If you have pets, bring them indoors and do not leave them outside overnight.


Take shelter during peak cold times:

  • A Wind Chill Warning is in effect from 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21, through 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 23.
  • A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for the Metro Denver area from the evening of Wednesday, Dec. 21, until 9 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 22.


Health and safety risks and warning signs


Hypothermia: People exposed to cold weather for prolonged periods can lose body heat and develop hypothermia. Symptoms vary depending on how long you are exposed to cold temperatures.


Early signs of hypothermia include:

  • shivering
  • fatigue
  • loss of coordination
  • confusion and disorientation


Late signs of hypothermia include:

  • no shivering
  • blue skin
  • dilated pupils
  • slowed pulse and breathing
  • loss of consciousness


Frostbite: Even short exposure to these temperatures can create a risk of frostbite. Frostbite is a bodily injury caused by freezing that results in loss of feeling and color in affected areas. The most common areas affected are the nose, ears, cheeks, chin, fingers, or toes. Gently warm the person and seek immediate medical care if you believe someone is showing signs of hypothermia or frostbite.


Carbon monoxide poisoning: Take these actions to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning when heating your home:

  • Only use approved heaters, such as electric or natural gas heaters and fireplaces.
  • Never use stoves, barbecues or ovens to heat your room or home, as these appliances can produce a deadly gas known as carbon monoxide that can collect inside your home.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector in your home to reduce the risk of poisoning.

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