The Brutal Cold Returns this Weekend
The last three days of December brought many of us our coldest temperatures since late February and early March of 2014. Unfortunately it looks like Old Man Winter is making his way back for an encore this weekend. Dangerously cold temperatures are set to return to the KDLT Viewing area during the day Saturday and they don’t look to let loose of their grip until next weekend.
The first two days of 2015 have been more than we could have hoped for with back to back days of above average temperatures and plenty of sunshine. That is all beginning to change and many of us will have felt the effects during the day on Saturday. A low-pressure system from Canada is progressing south through North Dakota and is expected to be entirely through the Sioux Empire by Saturday afternoon. Accompanied with this low will be a strong cold front, which will be the driver of the drastic weather changes.
Winds will be the major force we will be dealing with due to this system, and they are expected to shift from the south to the north during the morning hours behind the cold front. Wind gusts of 35 to 45 mph will move into the area by the afternoon hours. The high wind will likely last through early Sunday morning.
Approximate Wind Gusts
As the cold front continues south colder temperatures are expected to strangle the area. We could see some places with temperature drops of 20 to 25 degrees in 12 hours during the afternoon.
As those temperatures continue to fall and our winds continue to increase, the wind chills will become increasingly dangerous. Wind Chills of 30 to 40 degrees BELOW zero are expected by late Saturday and will continue into the early morning hours on Sunday. A wind chill advisory is in effect for the entire KDLT Viewing Area from 9 p.m. Saturday until Noon on Sunday due to the dangerous cold. Below is a snapshot of where wind chills will be during the morning hours on Sunday.
Along with the winds and colder temperatures, snow is expected to accompany this system as well, although it is expected to be light. Most places should luck out, but those to the south and to the east will see some flakes fly during the day on Saturday. Most places shouldn’t see any more than a dusting to a 1/4 of an inch (see below). However, any snow that falls will be blowing due to the high winds, so low visibility could become an issue and cause some travel concerns.
Snow Forecast from Saturday morning through Sunday at Noon.
The bad news is that this arctic chill isn’t going anywhere any time soon. Temperatures over the next 7 days are forecasted to be 10 to 25 degrees below normal with five straight nights of temperatures below zero starting Saturday night. Another arctic blast is expected to move through on Tuesday after another chance for snow comes Monday.
Remember to dress appropriately if you must go outside. Wind Chill values of 35 to 40 below zero can cause frostbite in as little as 10 minutes and medical attention will be needed. Make sure you are covering your nose, ears, and mouth as well as protecting your eyes. Thick gloves and a winter hat will be necessary as well. Stay warm and be safe!