The Breakdown - Cold weather myths

You've heard our meteorologists talking about how to prepare for the cold – protect people, pets, plants and pipes. But there are other things you may not know about handling frigid temperatures. That is the breakdown.

Did you know... Alcohol doesn't warm you up. It's a myth. I mean sure, a sip of whiskey might feel warm, and the buzz might help you forget just how cold you are, but the Mayo Clinic says alcohol dilates your blood vessels which lets more heat escape your body.

Did you know... A hot tea won't warm you any faster than an iced tea. Again, mentally it may feel nice, but according to, it's pretty much impossible to drink enough hot fluids for their thermal temperature to impact your body. They actually say you're just as well to drink cold liquids, since we tend to drink them faster. Hydration is key to helping your body manage tough temperatures.


Did you know... You don't actually lose the most heat through your head. Studies from the past decade show the heat loss from your noggin is about proportional to the rest of you. Heat loss happens anywhere that's not covered, particularly in cold winds.

Did you know... That weird smell when you turn on the pilot light in your fire place or heater doesn't mean something's wrong. Home heating experts in Houston say Houstonians use heat so rarely that you might smell a bit of dust burning off the pilot when you turn it on. But definitely check the flue before firing up the heat.

Did you know... Warming up your car in the garage is dangerous. An Iowa State study says a vehicle warming up for just two minutes with the garage door open raised carbon monoxide levels in the garage to 500 parts per million. Anything above 200 is considered strong enough to make you dizzy or faint. Mechanics recommend just 30 seconds of warming up is enough.