(8:00AM - 1/29/19) In the wake of Sunday and Mondays winter storm across portions of the state, bitter cold Arctic air is flooding south behind the departing storm system. This first wave of cold for today is notable, but nothing compared to what's on the way for tonight into Thursday morning. Model guidance continues to be locked in with full support in showing record breaking, dangerous and deadly cold for this upcoming week for the region.
As mentioned above, the winter storm that affected portions of the state the past two days is departing the region, with bitter cold air pouring southward out of Canada in its wake. Additionally, a lobe of the polar vortex is also dropping in behind it, coming south out of Canada. This will slowly rotate through the region, before exiting as we head late into the week and weekend. It is likely that a period of below zero temperatures will occur over at least portions of the state this morning through Friday morning, with extreme wind chills also being likely during that time as well.
The absolute worst conditions will be across the northern half of the state, though the southern half will not be spared either. Across Northern Illinois, low temps will be between -20 and -35 Tuesday night/Wednesday morning and Wednesday night Thursday morning. High temps on Wednesday will only reach -10 to -20. Wind chills during this period will be -40 to -60.
Across Central Illinois, low temps Tuesday night/Wednesday morning and Wednesday night/Thursday morning will be -10 to -25. High temps on Wednesday will only reach 0 to -15. Wind chills during this period will be -25 to -50.
Across Southern Illinois, low temps Tuesday night/Wednesday morning and Wednesday night/Thursday morning will be 5 to -10. High temps on Wednesday will be 10 to -5. Wind chills during the period will be -10 to -25.
Widespread temperature and wind chill records are likely to be broken during the worst of the cold, from tonight on into Thursday morning. To get a sense on how extremely rare and historic this period will be...The coldest temperature on record for the state of Illinois is -36, set in Congerville, IL on Jan. 5th 1999. It is quite possible this record will be in jeopardy. The coldest temperature on record for Chicago is -27, set on Jan. 20th 1985. It is looking very likely this record will be tied, if not broken.
This has been mentioned in several of our posts, and will continue to be given the importance... It should be noted and not taken lightly on how extreme and rare the temps and wind chills expected across Northern and portions of Central Illinois will be. These will be life threatening and deadly conditions for any person or animal that has to live outside or be outside for any lengthy periods of time. Hypothermia and frostbite risk will be extremely high, with them being possible in an incredibly short period of exposure time. Persons that must be outdoors for any period of time are highly advised to dress in layers, and try to limit that time outdoors. If you do not have to be outdoors, do not venture out. When letting pets out, keep the time outdoors very minimal. If traveling, have a winter preparedness kit with you for if your car dies or you become stranded...that's even if your car will start in the first place. Park your car in a garage or other enclosed location, or use an engine block heater to ensure the best chance that your car will start. Be sure to try and maintain a full tank of gas, which can help prevent water in your lines freezing. Warm your car for a period of time before driving, to prevent hoses from bursting and the engine block from cracking. Widespread school closings are likely and expected for a couple days during this period for the hardest hit areas. It would not be surprising if some businesses are closed or ask you to work from home if possible on the coldest days. Given how cold it is, water pipes bursting will be a high possibility as well. Thus, it is recommended that if your pipes are not insulated, that you leave water running on very low to keep ice from building within the lines. if your pipes do freeze, shut the water off at the main shut off. If running space heaters within your home, be extremely cautious and aware of high fire potential. Do not use your oven, stove burners or grill to heat your home. The strain on the power grid could cause some power outages. Have a winter weather preparedness kit ready or a backup location to stay incase of a power outage, as the temperature within your home will quickly drop to uninhabitable levels. If running a generator, run it outdoors and not in your garage, due to exhaust and fire hazards.
Below is out TAM cold/wind chill forecast for this period.
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