Iowa weather forecast includes wind chill advisory for Wednesday through Thursday

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A wind chill advisory will take effect Wednesday evening and last until noon Thursday as extremely cold temperatures set in.

Tuesday’s 44-degree high melted much of the 14 inches of snow Des Moines received Friday and Saturday. But as of noon Wednesday, the temperature was just 8 degrees with sub-zero wind chill at Des Moines International Airport.

According to AccuWeather, a drop in the jet stream allowed arctic air from Canada to move into the Midwest.

The forecast called for a high of 10 degrees on Wednesday, with a low of -6. On Wednesday morning, the wind chill reached minus 25 degrees in Mason City and minus 20 degrees in Algona.

Expect even colder weather on Thursday, when Des Moines sees a low of 10 degrees below zero and a high of just 4 degrees, according to the National Weather Service, with wind chills of 20 to 30 degrees below zero.

The wind chill advisory will be in effect for all of Iowa, except for three far northwest counties, from 6 p.m. Wednesday through noon Friday.

“Cold windchills could cause frostbite to exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes,” the advisory said.

Wind chill in northern Iowa could feel as low as 30 below zero on Thursday.  January 20, 2022.

Temperatures are expected to gradually rise on Friday to a high of 17 degrees. But Friday morning wind chills will likely still be very cold.

The wind chill in Des Moines could look like 20 degrees below zero on Friday.  January 21, 2022.

Saturday’s high temperature will rebound to a high of 27 degrees. Sunday’s high will dip to 23 degrees.

COVID-19 testing sites shut down by cold

The Des Moines COVID-19 testing sites at Hoover High School and the Kurtz Opportunity Center will be closed Wednesday and Thursday due to cold weather. People with appointments were notified by email, according to Nomi Health, which runs the sites.

Protect yourself from the cold

To protect yourself from the cold, the NWS advises you to wear the following when you go out:

  • Wear several layers of loose, lightweight, warm clothing. Outerwear should be tightly woven, water repellent and hooded.
  • Wear a hat to prevent body heat from escaping.
  • Cover mouth to protect lungs from extreme cold.
  • Cover your hands with mittens that fit snugly around the wrist.

Philip Joens covers breaking news for The Des Moines Register. He can be reached at 515-443-3347 at [email protected] or on Twitter @Philip_Joens.

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