DES MOINES, Iowa – A Wind Chill Advisory is in effect for all of Central Iowa through 6 a.m. Thursday. This advisory replaces the Wind Chill Warning that was in effect late Tuesday night through Wednesday at noon. Meteorologist Megan Salois said an advisory is issued for weather conditions that will produce wind chills of -20 to -30. A warning is issued for weather conditions that will produce wind chills of -30 to -40. Both weather situations are very dangerous and can lead to frostbite and hypothermia.
The coldest conditions will be in place Wednesday evening through midnight. Tonight’s winds will be lighter than Tuesday night but the temperatures will be colder. We will drop to -10 around midnight with wind chills in the -20 to -30 range. Winds will stay brisk for the first part of the evening. The winds will lighten up around midnight as they shift to the southwest. After midnight, temperatures will begin to rise with temperatures back near 0 at about 6 a.m.. Wind chills will range from 0 to -10 by the time children are at the bus stop Thursday morning.
The reason for the extreme cold conditions is a ridge of arctic high pressure has dropped across the Upper Midwest on Wednesday. That ridge of high pressure will push east and impact the northeast US on Thursday with a brief one day warm up on Thursday for Central Iowa.
If you must spend an extended amount of time outdoors, cover all skin. Exposed skin can develop frostbite within 30 minutes in tonight’s conditions. Hypothermia is also a risk. When hypothermia occurs, the body’s core temperature drops so low it cannot maintain body function. Death can be a result.