Bitterly cold temperatures are gripping much of the Mountain West this week. Wind chills have hit almost 50 degrees below zero in Montana and Wyoming.
“It feels like cold fire on your face,” Tanja Fransen, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Montana, says.
You can get frostbite within minutes of exposure to a windchill near 50 degrees below zero.
“The tissue in your body basically starts to freeze and crystallize,” she says.
A cold snap is gripping much of the region this week. It broke records in western Montana, and caused temperatures to plummet into the single digits along the front range of Colorado and southern Wyoming.
Fransen says the cold snap caused by a high pressure system settling over the Mountain West.
That high pressure forces the cold air high up the atmosphere down to the ground.
Fransen says the cold snap will ease later this week.