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January 3, 2014

Dangerous cold — possibly coldest in 20 years — follows weekend snow

Light snow expected to fall across the Kansas City region this weekend could be followed by the lowest temperatures experienced in more than 20 years. A cold-air mass is likely to start moving into the area Sunday, dropping temperatures well below zero. Brisk north winds will drop wind chills as low as -30 early Monday morning.

The chance of snow probably won’t be the main weather topic on Kansas Citians’ mind this weekend.

It’s going to be the possibility of dangerously cold temperatures early next week — the kind the area hasn’t seen in more than 20 years — that will capture conversations.

Friday’s expected high of 34 degrees in Kansas City will feel downright balmy compared what is in store for Monday, according to the National Weather Service.

But first, light snow is expected to fall Saturday and Sunday morning, leaving behind 1 to 2 inches around the Kansas City metro area. Northern and northwestern Missouri has the potential for about 1/2 inch snow while central Missouri could get up to 4 inches of snow.

A cold-air mass is likely to start moving into the area Sunday, dropping temperatures well below zero.

Brisk north winds will drop wind chills between 20 below to 30 below zero early Monday morning.

Wind chill values will remain 10 below to 20 below during the day Monday as highs could remain around zero.

Kansas Division of Emergency Management officials on Friday urged people to prepare for the snow and dangerous sub-zero temperatures and wind chills.

“This is an extremely dangerous forecast and taking precautions to ensure your safety and your family’s safety is essential,” said Maj. Gen. Lee Tafanelli, director of Kansas Division of Emergency Management and adjutant general in a release. “Simply, put, these temperatures and wind chills can be deadly.”

Those traveling should make sure cell phones are charged, gas tanks are full and there are items to help keep warm if the vehicle breaks down or they are involved in an accident.

Those at home should make sure they have items needed to survive the bitter cold if there’s a power outage, including blankets, a safe alternate heat source, nonperishable foods, bottled water, flashlights and medicines.

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