News

Extreme wind chill, low temperatures make for bitter cold weekend in KC

Updated: 2013-12-08T17:22:30Z

By ADAM DARBY

The Kansas City Star

Like an unwanted house guest, the bitter cold front that moved into Kansas City is going to stay awhile, and it’s likely to bring a friend — more snow.

Thursday’s dusting of snow is just the beginning, according to the National Weather Service in Pleasant Hill, Mo. Heavier accumulations of snow are predicted farther south in Missouri, with up to 8 inches of snow possible by Friday evening. Chance of snow Sunday is 60 percent in Kansas City, with accumulation of around an inch possible, according to the National Weather Service.

A high of 20 is expected Friday, with wind chills around -4 and 1.

The storm on Thursday brought sleet, freezing rain and snow to Missouri, creating hazardous driving conditions in the southern part of the state. Temperatures were 40 degrees colder than Wednesday, when much of Missouri basked in weather in the 60s.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has activated the State Emergency Operations Center for round-the-clock operation in response to the storm, which was also causing havoc on Thursday in Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

The heaviest snowfall in the Kansas City area is forecast for late Saturday into Sunday, sparing fans heading to Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan., for the MLS Cup championship match between Sporting Kansas City and Real Salt Lake. But game-time temperatures at 3 p.m. Saturday will barely reach into the 20s, with a wind chill between -5 and 5. That makes for some cold soccer.

Bitterly cold air is likely to remain in place through early next week, with highs in the teens and 20s each day with overnight lows dropping into the single digits at times.

But wind chills will make it seem even colder. The National Weather Service said that at 9 a.m. Thursday, wind chills were barely above zero across Kansas and Missouri.

A winter weather advisory was in effect for parts of western Kansas, where several inches of snow forecast for Thursday night threatened slick roads and low visibility for travelers.

Meanwhile, the arctic blast continues to sweep across the Northern Plains.

In North Dakota, Thursday’s projected high was minus 6 degrees, falling to minus 10 by Saturday, with overnight lows to 24 below as a major winter storm bulldozed from the Rockies eastward.

The National Weather Service forecast a foot or more of snow in some areas of the Upper Midwest, with freezing rain possible for parts of the Great Lakes. To the south, Oklahoma and Arkansas faced a possible ice storm Thursday evening that also could affect southern Kansas and Missouri.

In Montana, the National Weather Service forecast record or near-record lows in several parts of the state overnight. The bitter cold predicted ranged from minus 9 degrees in Missoula to minus 27 in Butte and Shelby.

The extreme cold prompted the Red Cross to release a statement urging people to stay inside or layer up to guard against frostbite if they must go out. The agency also asked residents to check on their neighbors, especially if they require special assistance or live alone.

The cold snap was widespread, blamed on the jet stream’s move southward and expected to linger through much of the week. In Minnesota, the icy blast came with a snow dump approaching 3 feet in the northeast, though much of that was lake-effect snow on the shores of Lake Superior.

At least five people died in fatal crashes in Minnesota, plus at least two more in Montana and North Dakota. Oklahoma postponed high school football championship games as the storm moved in.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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