(2:00PM - 1/27/19) Model guidance over the past several days has been consistent in showing the potential for record breaking, dangerous and deadly cold for this upcoming week for the region. As we have gotten closer to this time period, model guidance has not backed off at all, pretty much ensuring the period of cold is locked in to occur.
As the winter storm that will be affecting portions of the state tonight into tomorrow exists the region, a lobe of the polar vortex will drop in behind it, coming south out of Canada. This will slowly rotate through the region, before exiting as we head into next weekend. At this time it looks likely that a period of below zero temperatures will be likely over at least portions of the state Tuesday morning through Friday morning, with extreme wind chills also being likely during that time as well.
The coldest temps and wind chills during this period will likely be Tuesday night into Thursday morning, across Northern and portions of Central Illinois. Low temps Tuesday night/Wednesday morning and Wednesday night/Thursday morning will likely range from -15 to -30. High temps on Wednesday will likely be -10 to -25 across this area. These are actual temperatures, not yet factoring in wind chills. When combining the extremely cold temps with light winds that are expected, with will create wind chill values of -40 to -60.
Further south, temps and wind chills will also be very cold across portions of Central Illinois from I-72 on south and across Southern Illinois, though conditions will not be nearly as extreme as further north.
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. 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. Widespread school closings are likely and expected for one or more days during this period for the hardest hit areas. It would not be surprising if some businesses are closed on the coldest days either. 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.
Below is out TAM cold/wind chill forecast for this period.
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