MADISON, Wis. - The coldest air of the year so far will arrive across southern Wisconsin Thursday night and should last through much of the weekend. The cold blast will be followed by a winter storm Monday and will be followed by another Arctic outbreak that will be as cold or even colder than what we will experience over the next few days.
The brisk winds along with partially clearing skies later tonight into Friday morning will bring dangerously cold wind chills of 20 to 35 below zero or colder through the central Midwest. Wind chills that are that cold could lead to frostbite of exposed skin in ten minutes or less.
A Wind Chill Advisory has been issued for the entire central Midwest including southern Wisconsin from 6 PM through noon on Friday. High temperatures on Friday may not get above zero in many locations, while wind chills remain as cold as minus 10 to minus 20 even during the warmest part of the day. Bitterly cold low temperatures down to near minus 15 and wind chills of minus 15 to minus 30 are expected from tomorrow night into Saturday, while high temperatures Saturday will be just above zero, while wind chills remain below zero through the day.
A potential winter storm is still expected from late Sunday night through Monday of next week. The longer-range weather forecast computer models continue to predict a heavy snowfall of six inches or more over southern Wisconsin and nearby portions of the central Midwest.
Brisk winds during the snowfall could lead to quite a bit of blowing and drifting snow making for difficult travel conditions.
After the snow passes, another surge of potentially dangerously cold temperatures and wind chills will arrive from Tuesday all the way through Friday of next week. Low temperatures could be as cold as minus 20 for Tuesday night and Wednesday night, while high temperatures will stay below zero for Wednesday and Thursday. This will create wind chills as cold as 45 below zero early in the morning, and wind chills remaining as cold as minus 10 to minus 20 during the day for several days in a row.
The winter weather will take center stage tonight/tomorrow morning (bitterly cold wind chills of -20° to -35°) and basically ALL of next week. Several inches of snow likely on Monday, and then "once-in-a decade" temps and wind chills Tue-Thu. #wiwx pic.twitter.com/PKjdIAxm6l— Dave Caulfield (@DaveCaulfield_) January 24, 2019
With the potential for a variety of dangerous winter weather during the next week or so, it is critical that you stay up to date with the latest forecasts and be prepared for difficult travel conditions and bitterly cold temperatures.
If you have not done so already, make sure your vehicle has a winter survival kit to ensure you can stay warm in the event of a breakdown or accident, and is equipped with snow clearing and removal tools, such an ice scraper, a snow removal brush, and a shovel. When traveling, make sure someone knows the route you are taking, and when you expect to arrive. Also, make sure you have a cell phone with a fully charged battery so you can summon help if you should run into trouble.
At home, keep a close watch on the elderly, young children and infants, and those in poor physical shape as they will be very susceptible to the cold.
When going outside, dress in layers to trap air warmed by your body, with a waterproof outer layer. Cover as much exposed skin as possible to prevent frostbite and wear a hat as heat can be rapidly lost from your head. Wear gloves or mittens on your hands, and use a scarf to cover your ears, nose, and mouth. Make sure outdoor pets can keep warm or bring them inside until temperatures come out of the deep freeze.
Stay up to date with the latest forecast from the News 3 First Alert Weather team, and watch News 3 newscasts, Channel3000.com, and monitor the News 3 Weather and Traffic app for the latest updates on this bout of severe winter weather.
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