At least two cold-weather-related deaths were confirmed in the Baltimore area during last week's snap of frigid weather, and more dangerous cold is in the forecast.
Hypothermia was a factor in the deaths of an elderly Baltimore County woman and an elderly Baltimore man during the week that ended Monday, according to a weekly report from state health officials. The total number of cold-weather-related deaths that state medical examiners have confirmed so far this winter has reached 14.
Hypothermia occurs when body temperature drops below 95 degrees, causing vital organs to shut down.
One other death was reported last week, of a Baltimore man, but it occurred earlier in the winter and was only confirmed as weather-related recently.
Health officials are encouraging residents to prepare for more below-freezing temperatures. Baltimore officials declared a "Code Blue" alert for Friday and Saturday. The alert frees up additional space in city homeless shelters and provides other resources for the homeless.
Temperatures could drop further during the day Friday, with highs in the mid-30s expected in the early morning, falling throughout the day to the mid-20s by the late evening. Wind chills are expected in the teens overnight Friday and through Saturday morning.