Bitter cold sets in, guaranteeing snow on ground for Christmas

Now that the messy winter storm is past, here comes the next threat: bitter cold temperatures and wind chills.

At least the frigid weather in store for the Kansas City area today and Tuesday guarantees snow will remain on the ground for Christmas Day.

“Very cold air is moving in,” National Weather Service forecaster Dan Hawblitzel said Sunday. “We don’t expect it to rise above freezing until Wednesday afternoon, at the earliest.”

He said the metro area received between 1 and 5 inches of snow Saturday night into Sunday morning, with lesser amounts the farther south you went and 5 inches close to Kansas City International Airport.

That winter wonderland will now freeze in place, thanks to plummeting temperatures. Today was expected to dawn with a low of 5 degrees, which would feel more like 5 to 10 degrees below zero because of the wind chill from winds of 5 to 10 mph.

Today’s high probably won’t get above 14.

Christmas Eve morning isn’t expected to get above 0 degrees, with a wind chill of minus 15. Highs Tuesday will be in the mid-20s.

Christmas Day is expected to see a high in the low 30s. Hawblitzel said temperatures well above freezing aren’t expected until Saturday.

No more measurable precipitation is expected soon. There’s a slight chance for snow Tuesday night, but it’s more likely north of Kansas City to the Iowa border.

The wintry mix Kansas City received over the weekend was part of a pre-Christmas blast that delivered a bit of everything across the country, with freezing rain, snow, ice, flooding and even tornadoes in area that stretched from the Louisiana Gulf Coast to eastern Canada.

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