Bitterly Cold Weather Continues This Week with a Blizzard Possible

January 7, 2015 0 Comments

Harsh winds and bitterly cold temperatures ahead of a very strong area of Arctic high pressure have made for a particularly frigid midweek today. Even though temperatures early in the day weren’t quite as cold as some recent days, strong northwest winds gusting to 40 miles caused some blowing and drifting snow in spots and made it feel like it was almost 40 degrees below zero. That area of high pressure has managed to keep skies completely clear all day and as it has gotten closer to the local area, winds have dropped off some, allowing our Wind Chill Warning to downgrade to a Wind Chill Advisory with “feels like temperatures” in the 20s below zero. The bright blue skies and some of the extremely cold ice crystals aloft in this air mass have made for some pretty optical phenomena, namely sun dogs, halos, and even the rare circumzenithal arc.

Viewer Steve Yezek, a photographer in Grafton, Iowa sent in this picture of both a halo and a circumzenithal arc just before noon Wednesday.

Viewer Steve Yezek, a photographer in Grafton, Iowa sent in this picture of both a halo and a circumzenithal arc just before noon Wednesday.

Things will remain very cold and somewhat quiet for only a few more hours as a fast-moving clipper style storm system from western Canada is poised to swing into the region for Thursday, bringing some light snow to the area as well as some incredibly strong, bitterly cold winds.

Temperatures will fall a bit this evening before climbing through the day Thursday. Strong winds during the day Thursday will create brutally cold wind chills. Friday looks to be another particularly frigid day despite tons of sun.

Temperatures will fall a bit this evening before climbing through the day Thursday. Strong winds during the day Thursday will create brutally cold wind chills. Friday looks to be another particularly frigid day despite tons of sun.

 

A Blizzard Watch has already been posted for our western counties effective Thursday afternoon through early Friday as light snow and strong winds will become an issue.

A Blizzard Watch has already been posted for our western counties effective Thursday afternoon through early Friday as light snow and strong winds will become an issue.

Right now, it appears that an inch or two of snow will fall during the day Thursday, especially from mid to late morning through the late afternoon hours. Strong winds will develop, first from the southwest in the morning, and then from the northwest in the afternoon in the wake of the departing system. Gusts will occasionally reach 45 miles per hour, especially in open country where blowing snow and very cold wind chill values will possible cause major problems. Visibility levels and driving conditions Thursday look to be impacted by this system as blizzard conditions will be possible through the afternoon and evening.

The storm system will bring light snow through the midday and afternoon hours while strong winds throughout the day and evening will likely cause blowing and drifting snow.

The storm system will bring light snow through the midday and afternoon hours while strong winds throughout the day and evening will likely cause blowing and drifting snow.

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