Bone-chilling Cold Forecast through Week, Snow Wednesday – December 30, 2013

The Oakland Press

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Bone-chilling cold forecast through week, snow Wednesday

By Carol Hopkins, The Oakland Press

Monday, December 30, 2013

OAKLAND COUNTY >> The coldest week of the winter is upon us, bringing temperatures Tuesday that feel near zero — and highs that only reach the teens the rest of the work week.

The cause is an Arctic air mass dipping down from Canada, said Matt Mosteiko, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in White Lake.  “The jet stream is south of it,” he said.  Tuesday’s high will feel like zero because of 20-25 mph wind gusts. Wednesday’s high is 17 with calm winds.  The overnight low is 11, Mosteiko said. Thursday’s high is 16 and Friday’s, a brutal 12 degrees.  Saturday brings a warm-up in the high 20s.

Snow will be a factor on New Year’s Day, said Mosteiko. Early forecasts are calling for 2-4 inches during the day and evening.

Protect outdoor pets

Animal Care Network officials warn that when temperatures fall, pets need protection.

The Roseville-based organization urges people to persuade neighbors to bring pets inside because the cold can lead to hypothermia and death.  “So far this winter we have only found one dying dog which was taken to emergency and had to be put to sleep due to hypothermia,” said Pam Porteous, the organization’s manager.  “We have found dozens with frostbite that could have potentially become hypothermic but, because we asked the owners to bring the pets inside, this has been avoided.”

The winter before Oakland County Animal Control started patrolling Pontiac, Animal Care staff found 12 dead/dying dogs in one month.  “Their work on the streets and their presence is improving things a great deal,” said Porteous. Our group calls on them frequently, nearly daily, to report addresses and complaints. Their officers are great and their dispatchers are always eager and concerned and their response time is incredible. It is so much more productive to work with each other rather than against each other.”

Weather that is painfully cold for humans to be outside is also cold for dogs and cats, Porteous said.  Frostbite occurs in minutes. “We see dogs shaking and holding up their paws every day,” she said.

“The big ‘tough’ — as people like to call them– pit bull and pit bull-like dogs have a terrible time living outside in this weather,” she said. “They are very sensitive and get so cold, they barely will come out of their doghouses.”

The main sign of hypothermia in dogs is excessive shivering. Breathing will also become abnormally slow and shallow. Treatment is crucial, officials say. Take the animal immediately to a veterinarian.  Pontiac residents who need straw for doghouses can call the Animal Care Network at 248-678-2756

People who live in other communities should check with their local animal control, humane society, animal shelter or rescue group. People who see animals in trouble should call the above mentioned animal groups immediately.


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