Icy Snow Poses Hazard

Snowy Arctic Cold Waves to Get Extreme

On this snowy Thursday night, wind whipped squalls are reducing visibility and plummeting temperatures are locking the region into the deep freeze. That icy combination is turning into a hazardous affair for night time travelers.

By 9pm the temperatures area-wide were already in the teens points west and low 20s east and south. That spelled a big issue overnight as salt was soon to be rendered less effective (at 17 degrees and lower salt ceases to melt ice and snow).

As the snows slacken overnight, a strong polar wind will whip the powder into swirls of blowing "sawdust". This will lead to new drifting accumulations in areas open to the northwest wind.

Travelers, careful of the fresh powder as it hides a sheet of glare ice underneath by dawn! And by travelers I mean motorists and pedestrians alike!

Bitter cold will nestle in for the first light of day when flurries will fall like crystals from a mainly clear sky. That’s a phenom reserved for an arctic air mass.

My suggestion keep the kids inside in the morning for as long as you can before sending them off to sled. The morning wind chill near or below zero may be too tough for the young kids to take for more than an hour or two. And of course, have a cup of hot chocolate ready when they come in.

Signs of a repeat performance Sunday night into Monday brings up one of my favorite children’s silly songs; namely, “second verse, same as the first, a little bit louder and a little bit worse”. Next week’s cold may well be even harsher with signs pointing to the coldest air of the still young 21st century by Monday night and Tuesday!

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