An arctic blast affecting much of the country is expected to keep temperatures in the single digits today in Leavenworth. And wind chills will be in the negative digits.

An arctic blast affecting much of the country is expected to keep temperatures in the single digits today in Leavenworth. And wind chills will be in the negative digits.

A wind chill advisory is scheduled to be in effect until noon, according to the National Weather Service.

Today’s high temperature in Leavenworth is expected to be around 5 degrees. Wind chill values will range between -2 and -12.

The cold wind chills could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes. The bitterly cold conditions also can lead to hypothermia if precautions are not taken, according to the wind chill advisory issued by the NWS.

Symptoms of hypothermia include slurred speech, sluggishness, confusion, shallow and slow breathing, unusual behavior and a slow and irregular heartbeat, according to a news release from the American College of Emergency Physicians.

“If you must go outside, do so sparingly and dress appropriately for the cold,” Dr. Vidor Friedman, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians, said in a news release. “Check on your friends and loved ones and be particularly mindful of vulnerable people – children, the elderly or people that may have nowhere safe or warm to go. If you think you are having an emergency, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department.”

As of press time, at least one local school district had canceled classes for Wednesday.

A message posted on the Lansing public schools website Tuesday afternoon indicated classes were being canceled because of the wind chill advisory and low air temperatures, which may prevent buses from starting or running properly.

The low temperature tonight will be around 5 degrees with wind chill values ranging from -2 and -7.

The arctic blast is expected to be short-lived. Temperatures are expected to climb into the low 30s on Thursday in Leavenworth. And by the weekend, high temperatures will be in the 50s, according to the National Weather Service.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR