All Weather News

“Particularly Dangerous Situation: Wind Chill”; Winter Storm Impacts Travel

5 Jan 2014, 11:56 am

By now, you’ve heard about the freezing rain earlier today across the Northeast. Roads in Pennsylvania were ice rinks and a plane slid off a runway at JFK in New York. Air temperatures on the surface in the Northeast are cold, and warm air pushing in from the south went up and over the cold air mass, creating a warm layer that led to the freezing rain. Not ideal, but at least it’s not another foot of snow!

Elsewhere across the Central Plains, roads were treacherous as snow fell by the bucket-load. Snowfall rates of 1.5-2″ per hour combined with gusty wind to make for extremely slick roads and low visibilities. If you don’t absolutely have to travel during this storm, don’t! (Image above courtesy MoDOT)

Many Midwestern metros will pick up a good deal of snow with this system. From St. Louis to Chicago, Indianapolis, and Detroit, heavy snow will pile up through tonight and into the early portion of Monday’s commute.

Behind this snow, dangerous cold plunges southward. The National Weather Service in the Twin Cities, MN is calling it a “Particularly Dangerous Situation” for wind chill, a term normally reserved for the most dangerous severe weather outbreaks and rapidly forming tornadoes. Read more here:

They aren’t wrong, this wind chill will prove life-threatening to anyone out in the elements without proper protection/for extended periods. Anyone traveling during this time should have a winter weather survival kit in their vehicle in case they become stranded.

These temperatures will challenge all-time cold records across the Midwest. Here’s the stats for Chicago and Minneapolis.

Try to stay warm out there! Above-zero temps return later this week. -Meteorologist Miranda Hilgers

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