Mid-March frostbite advisory issued for Ottawa

The start of spring's only two days away, but you don't want to doff those gloves and scarves just yet.

Monday morning could feel like –27 with the wind, Environment Canada says

Ice crystals form on a plant near Parliament Hill in Ottawa on March 18, 2018. (Ian Black/CBC)

Spring officially arrives in less than 48 hours, but you won't know it when you step outside tomorrow morning.

Ottawa Public Health has issued an overnight frostbite advisory, which it does when the wind is expected to make the temperature feel as cold as –25.

As of Sunday afternoon, Environment Canada was forecasting an overnight low for Ottawa of –17 C. Monday morning's winds could make the start of the work week feel like an otherworldly –27.

Ottawa Public Health offers the following tips for avoiding frostbite:

  • Get to a warm area before frostbite sets in.
  • If it's too cold outside, consider staying indoors.
  • Keep extra mittens and gloves in the car, house or backpack.
  • Wear a hat and larger mittens over your gloves.
  • Wear a scarf to protect the chin, lips and cheeks, as they're all extremely susceptible to frostbite.
  • Wear waterproof winter boots with room for an extra layer of socks — wool if possible.
  • Do not drink alcohol, which narrows blood vessels and promotes frostbite and hypothermia.

For further suggestions — including how to recognize the early signs of frostbite — visit the public health agency's website.

As for Tuesday, the official first day of spring: Environment Canada is forecasting sunny skies and a high of zero.