Dangerous Cold Continues This Evening into Tomorrow
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Blowing and drifting snow will become less widespread as the day wears on. Northwest winds this morning of 15 to 30 mph will diminish during the afternoon, falling to under 10 mph later this evening. However, temperatures are going to remain bitterly cold, and any amount of wind will make it feel substantially colder.
Wind chills Monday morning were generally in the range of -25 to -35. They will remain close to -25 to -30 through the day. Temperatures will struggle to warm; highs this afternoon will be around -5. In these conditions, frostbite can occur in about 20 minutes on exposed skin.
Winds will finally back down tonight to under 10 mph.
However, with light winds and a clear sky, temperatures will plummet to the -15 to -20 degree range. Wind chills will remain near -30 even with such a light wind. Mostly sunny skies are ahead for tomorrow, but highs will again struggle, only reaching to around zero. West winds of 10 to 20 mph tomorrow will also keep the wind chill well below zero.
A wind chill warning remains in effect for areas roughly along and north of Interstate 80 where the coldest wind chills will be; a wind chill advisory is in effect for areas south of there.
State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says Monday his records show this winter has been unusually cold.
Temperatures in Iowa between Oct. 1 and Jan. 23 represent the ninth coldest for that period in the past 121 years. The average statewide temperature was 30.1 degrees over the 115 days, compared with the normal 34.2.
So the perception that it's been really cold is true, but at least snowfall hasn't been above normal.
Hillaker says when temperatures are lower than normal, snowfall usually is heaver.
Of the 24 coldest starts to winter in state history, only three had below normal snowfall in the 115-day period starting Oct. 1, and this year is one of them.