National Weather Service meteorologist, Kurt Kotenberg , says the windchills pose a danger with even a short exposure time. “We’re looking at windchill values between minus twenty and minus thirty degrees this afternoon for a lot of Iowa. So what that means is frost bite can occur between 15 and 30 minutes,” Kotenberg explains.
They key to preventing problems when wind chills get this cold is to keep yourself well covered. “When you have these cold wind chills you just need to prepared. Wear a hat and gloves, wear extra layers of clothing so that you’re not caught outside in the cold and exposed to the possibility of frost bite,” Kotenberg says.
Kotenberg says the windchill adds to the problem of already low temperatures. “The big thing here is we have strong winds, so when you combine these strong winds with these temperatures that’s when you get these cold wind chills, now wind speeds across Iowa in the 20 to 25 miles per hour range,” Kotenberg says. School districts from western to eastern Iowa called off classes today.
Kotenberg says the problem will be car batteries hit by the overnight cold and diesel fuel jelling. It will warm up Thursday afternoon when highs will be in the mid teens to low twenties.
The National Weather Service issued a winchill warning that runs until noon, and then a windchill advisory begins at noon today and runs through 7 p.m. Thursday.