Cold temperatures do impact Southern Florida. The elderly and people with medical conditions, such as diabetes, are especially at risk to extreme temperatures and cannot tolerate too much cold. Cold weather can become a danger to those who are not physically prepared or sheltered adequately. Also, cold weather promotes use of portable heating devices, which if used improperly can cause fires and toxic fumes relating to serious injury and/or death.
Cold Weather Safety Tips
- Stay indoors and use safe heating sources.
- When indoors, be aware of the fire danger from space heaters and candles, keep such devices away from all flammable materials such as curtains and furniture, and install recommended smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
- When outdoors, stay dry and in wind-protected areas; wear layers of loose-fitting, warm clothing.
- Drink plenty of non-alcoholic fluids and eat high-calorie foods.
Cold Weather Terminology
- A Freeze occurs when surface air temperature is below freezing (32° F) over a widespread area for a significant period of time. Freeze is a term used for the condition when these low air temperatures injure vegetation, regardless if frost is deposited.
- Frost is a cover of ice crystals produced by deposition of atmospheric water directly on a surface at or below freezing.
- A Freeze Warning is issued by the National Weather Service to make agricultural interests and the public aware of anticipated freeze conditions over a large area.
- A Hard Freeze Warning is issued by the National Weather Service to make agricultural interests and the public aware of anticipated freeze conditions that are of a four-hour duration or greater, below 28° F, and over a large area.
- Wind Chill Factor is the cooling effect of any combination of temperature and wind, expressed as the loss of body heat. Also called wind-chill index.