After reading all the reports of the blizzard that has hit the Midwestern U.S., we Texans have nothing to complain about, when it comes to weather!  Our predicted low in the morning is around 27 degrees, (which I understand will be the coldest since February.)  Lest we forget our neighbors to the north, who include eight states that have been pummeled with 17” to 20” of snow, including: Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri, and Michigan.  Forecasts for Sunday night (December 12) throughout the Dakotas and parts of Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin are below zero.  Several other regions have had winter storm warnings or hard freeze watches.  

In Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Metrodome roof collapsed under the weight of the heavy snow Saturday.  Workers were trying to clear snow off the Metrodome roof late Saturday night, but work was canceled, for safety reasons.  Those crews were back on the roof Sunday a.m., but workers were not allowed inside the facility as a safety precaution.  The New York Giants were scheduled to play the Minnesota Vikings, but because their plane was rerouted to Kansas City, Missouri, and the mishap at the Metrodome, the game was rescheduled.  Plans are now for the game to be moved to Detroit Lion’s Field, played Monday, December 13th at 7:30 p.m., ET. 

We have recently done articles on having your car winterized, what to carry in your car in case of being stranded, and other winter safety reminders.  Those of you who are somewhat used to the colder temperatures can send us some good advice, we are sure!  We’d like to take a minute to mention other hints that might help you stay warm, from one of our earlier posts! 

Layering the right types of clothing with a waterproof top layer is a smart way to protect yourself from the elements, and will allow you to remove a layer as needed.  This is a good idea, especially for those workers who must be outdoors on a daily basis.  Stretching and warming up the muscles before work will also help one avoid muscle cramps in cold weather. 

Eating small, hot, and even spicy foods give the nervous system a warm signal that encourages blood flow to the extremities.  Drinks with caffeine constrict blood vessels, making the extremities colder.  Alcohol is dehydrating and suppresses shivering, the involuntary muscle contractions that help the body warm itself.  Tobacco also constricts blood vessels and cools the body by reducing circulation.  (It goes without saying that alcohol shouldn’t be consumed while working, anyway, but if you are outdoors for hunting or sports,  this won’t warm you up!)  

There are products made especially to help keep you warm.  Keep these in mind when looking for just the right thing:

Many of us in the south don’t have a clue what you folks up north must contend with in winter months.  We see accidents on icy highways, often caused by people that don’t know how to drive on ice.  You can teach us a thing or two about how to survive these conditions.  We wish you safe driving and traveling when your job demands it, but please drive with care, and stay warm!