Santa is leaving a cold snap in his wake this year.
The National Weather Service forecasts a high temperature between 12 and 15 degrees in Kansas City Tuesday, which would make it the second-coldest Dec. 26 on record, according to Jared Leighton, a meterologist in the service’s Pleasant Hill, Mo., office.
Leighton said the city was unlikely to break the record cold of Dec. 26, 1892, when the high only reached 5 degrees. But the second-coldest high temperature on Dec. 26 was 15 degrees, set in 1902, and that’s well within reach.
The service is also forecasting an overnight low of minus 1 at Kansas City International Airport early Wednesday morning, which would be the coldest Dec. 27 in Kansas City since 1925.
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“No other Dec. 27th in recent history has really been that cold except for 2000,” Leighton said.
Kansas City bottomed out at zero on Dec. 27, 2000, but has only recorded below-zero temperatures on that date in 1924, 1925 and 1892.
“So we would join some pretty exclusive company for that particular day if we get into negative values,” Leighton said.
The average high in Kansas City on Dec. 26 is 38 and the average low is 21.
The bottom line: It’s going to be cold Tuesday.
But not super cold, by National Weather Service standards.
Leighton said the National Weather Service doesn’t issue a cold weather advisory unless the wind chill is forecast to be minus 15 degrees or lower and it doesn’t issue a warning unless it gets down to minus 25 degrees.
The wind chill overnight Tuesday is expected to get to about minus 11, he said, so it’s unlikely there will be an advisory “unless there’s been a pretty dramatic change in the forecast tomorrow.”
Still, Leighton advised that motorists make sure they have a cold weather kit in their car with blankets and extra clothing, and suggested that homeowners keep an eye on their plumbing.
Uninsulated pipes in attics or other areas of houses that aren’t climate controlled can freeze and rupture when outdoor temperatures are minus 20 degrees, according to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety.
Leighton said that if the weather service does issue a wind chill advisory it will come with recommendations that pets be brought indoors and people limit their time outside if possible.
Felicia Payne was operating the homeless hotline for the City Union Mission Monday night. The mission has more than 400 beds, but Payne said they expected to be full Monday night.
Still, Payne said people in need of shelter Tuesday should still call 816-474-4599.
“I would say call the hotline and we will do our level best to get them a bed somewhere,” Payne said.