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Days of dangerous cold forecast for Northeast Michigan

News Photo by Julie Riddle Alpena High School 12th grader Haylee Ogle on Friday walks home from school, as she has every school day since her freshman year. Friday’s temperatures hovered in the single digits in Northeast Michigan.

ALPENA — The coldest temperatures so far this winter have engulfed Northeast Michigan, and people are urged by the National Weather Service to bundle up while outside and take precautions to protect their pets.

Temperatures are expected to drop to as much as -20 degrees below zero overnight Friday.

Temperatures on Friday morning with the windchill were as low as -12 degrees at the Alpena County Regional Airport, and the mercury will rise little into Saturday.

A few snow flurries are possible, but little to no accumulation is expected, the National Weather Service says.

Wind-chill temperatures in Alpena plunged well below zero overnight Thursday and the Arctic cold is expected to remain in the area until Sunday, when a brief warm-up moves into the Alpena area. Temperatures will rise into the 20s early next week, but the severe cold is expected to return late next week, the Weather Service predicts.

News Photo by Steve Schulwitz Snow and ice cover River Street in Alpena on Friday. It may be a few days before it thaws, as below-zero temperatures have moved into Northeast Michigan. Temperatures on Friday were well below zero with the windchill, dipping as low as -12 degrees.

The Weather Service recommends people limit their time outdoors and exposure to the cold, but, if you are required to be outdoors, the Weather Service advises you to wear layers of clothing. It is also recommended that people limit the amount of time they keep their animals outside.

People exposed to extreme cold are susceptible to frostbite in a matter of minutes. Areas most prone to frostbite are uncovered skin and the extremities, such as hands and feet. Hypothermia is another threat during extreme cold.

Hypothermia occurs when the body loses heat faster than it can produce.

Those who venture outdoors are advised to seek shelter from the wind as much as possible while outside. Once inside again, folks are advised to change into dry clothing immediately if they are wearing wet clothes.

National Weather Service data shows the record low temperature for Jan.15 was set in 1965 when it was -17 degrees below zero. The record low temperature for Jan. 16 was set in 1994 when a frigid temperature of -28 degrees below zero.

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