Winter Weather
12:40 pm
Thu January 2, 2014

Single Digit Temps Are Here, Bundle Up

UPDATED MONDAY JAN. 6:

There was little of the predicted snowfall throughout the region last night. But that didn’t stop the cold. The National Weather Service reports a wind chill advisory for much of western Kentucky and southern Illinois. The advisory will stay in affect until 9 a.m. Tuesday.

A wind chill advisory means that very cold air and strong winds will combine to generate wind chills of 10 below zero to 25 below zero. This will result in frostbite and lead to hypothermia if precautions are not taken.

The NHS warns if you must venture outdoors wear a hat and gloves.

According to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet the lack of snow does not mean the roads are unaffected. With rain dampened road surfaces crews are concerned about dropping temperatures causing moisture to flash freeze in 30 minutes or less. Drivers are urged to use caution. 

NWS Snowfall predictions updated on Saturday morning.
Credit National Weather Service

National Weather Service Forecasters are revising their forecast for this weekend's winter storm and extreme cold.

Rain will change to snow from northwest to southeast across the area from late tonight through early Sunday afternoon. Periods of heavy snowfall are expected with accumulations ranging from 5 to 10 inches over southeast Missouri, southern Illinois and southwest Indiana.

Two to five inches can be expected over west Kentucky. A Winter Storm Warning has been issued for much of the area, and a Winter Storm Watch remains in effect for southeast portions of west Kentucky.

Brutally cold air will surge southeast through the region on the strength of gusty northwest winds Sunday afternoon through Monday. Temperatures will be below zero over much of the area from Sunday night through early Tuesday, and wind chills will generally range from 10 below to 30 below zero during this period.

We expect multiple closings due to snowfall and cold temperatures. Check back for closings and cancelations information.

NWS science and operations officer Spoden said the area hasn’t seen sustained cold like this since the mid-90s.

“During that time we had a lot of issues with the cold air,” Spoden said. “When it gets cold and it stays cold, you have things like dead car batteries becoming more common. Water lines freeze, either going into your house or in some cases back then even in the cities.”

Spoden suggests insulating water pipes and preparing for dead car batteries.

“If you have to go out next week, you’re going to need to make sure that you have things in your vehicle,” Spoden said. “You’re going to need to make sure you have jumper cables, that you have blankets, things to keep you warm in case you do get stranded. Maybe even a couple snacks in there that can’t freeze.”

The comparable system in the winter of 1995-96 also resulted in freezing underground  water lines and house fires due to people trying to thaw their pipes. Ice jams also choked barge traffic on rivers.  

Daytime high temperatures on Monday are expected in the single digits with a wind-chill of -10 to -30. Those temperatures can cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little at 30 minutes. 

Warmer temperatures are expected by Wednesday, but NWS meteorlogist David Humphrey says another winter weather system could roll through the region Wednesday and Thursday.