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Very chilly New Years Eve expected in Omaha

Posted at 6:20 PM, Dec 31, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-31 19:20:08-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — For those looking to hit the bars celebrating the end of 2018, be prepared to bundle up.

Temperatures will likely be somewhere in the teens throughout the night, with heavy winds dropping the wind chill to well below zero.

3NewsNow meteorologist Ryan McPike says being out too long may actually be a bit risky.

"It becomes almost a danger thing, on top of just being really uncomfortable," says McPike.

The biggest danger? Frostbite.

"Actual frostbite is an injury to the skin, where it's numb and actually the color of the skin can change to kind of yellowy color," says Ann O’Keefe senior epidemiologist at the Douglas County Health Department.

Frostbite can result in fatigue, confusion and loss of coordination, which means bar-goers may not recognize the symptoms, instead thinking they're just buzzed.

"It makes you less aware of what's happening to you and if you are with someone who is a designated driver I would just watch out for other people and if you see signs of frostbite in somebody else, I would say something," says O’Keefe.

If you're concerned someone you're celebrating with may have frostbite, it's important to get them to a warm room and look for any discolored skin, it can turn blue or yellow, then immerse the area in a lukewarm bath.

Staying indoors is the best way to avoid any trouble but if you do go out, layer up.

"You really want to watch the extremities, keep the face covered, the nose the ears, that kind of thing, fingers toes, those kind of go first," says McPike.