The Northland is facing bitter cold this week and wind chill warnings and wind chill advisories have been issued by the National Weather Service in Duluth.

While most people know that it's best to stay inside under such conditions or to bundle up if they have to venture outside, there are those who may not take extremely cold weather seriously. If you know someone like that, you'll want to share a warning issued by the Duluth Fire Department.

The posted a startling statistic Monday afternoon on their official Facebook page of just how fast frostbite can occur under the conditions expected across the Northland, along with some cold weather tips:

The US National Weather Service Duluth Minnesota issued a wind chill advisory for tonight in Duluth and surrounding areas. If you go out please:
- Limit your time outside and be sure to cover exposed skin!
- Wear a hat! At least half of your body heat is lost if you head is not covered.
- Dress in layers
- Limit the time that your pets are outside. Cover their paws with booties (if you have them).
Be safe! Warmer weather is on its way!

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According to the Duluth Fire Department, frostbite could occur Monday night in 10-15 minutes. That's obviously not an extended amount of time so everyone should take our cold temperatures seriously.

According to WebMd, frostbite is when exposure to freezing temperatures damages areas of your skin and the tissues underneath. They note that while it's treatable, it is a potentially serious condition.

Here are the frostbite warning signs to be on the lookout for different stages:

Early stage

  • Skin turns a pale yellow or white
  • It may itch, sting, burn, or feel like "pins and needles."

Intermediate stage

  • Skin becomes hard
  • It looks shiny or waxy
  • When the skin thaws, blisters filled with fluid or blood form

Advanced stage

  • Skin is very hard and cold to the touch
  • Skin darkens quickly. It may look blue and later turn black

Keep in mind that some people don't know they have frostbite because as it gets worse, you can't feel the area anymore. That's why it's important to look for changes in skin color.

You need get to the emergency room right away if your skin stays numb, if you have severe pain as your skin thaws, if you develop blisters or if your skin color changes color or becomes hard.

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