2018 starts with dangerously cold weather
The first couple of days of the new year started on a frigid note in the Union County area.
Local weather observer Dana Cross reported that the low temperature dropped to 5 degrees below zero on Tuesday morning, Jan. 2, in Jonesboro.
The icy weather is expected to continue through Friday.
The National Weather Service office in Paducah warned that dangerously cold wind chills were possible on Monday, Jan. 1, and Tuesday.
The weather service issued a wind chill advisory through noon Tuesday for Southern Illinois, Southeast Missouri and Western Kentucky. The advisory went into effect at 6 p.m. on Saturday.
When the advisory was issued, the weather service stated that wind chills were expected to fall to below 4 degrees below zero and 12 degrees below zero Saturday night.
Wind chills were expected to drop to between 10 below zero and 20 below zero on New Year’s Eve night into early New Year’s Day.
“A wind chill advisory means that cold air and the wind will combine to create low wind chills. Frost bite and hypothermia can occur if precautions are not taken,” the weather service stated on its website.
The bitter cold wind chills could cause frostbite to exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes, the weather service warned.
Frigid temperatures were recorded on Dec. 27 in the county, when a low reading of 9 was followed by a high of only 19 degrees during the day.
Temperatures moderated for a couple of days, and then more bitter cold weather arrived.
The high on the last day of 2017 was only 17, after a morning low of 7.
Even colder temperatures were recorded on the first day of 2018. The morning low of Jan. 1 was 1. The high was 14. The frigid temperatures were accompanied by blustery winds.
The bitter cold is expected to continue on Thursday, and into Friday and Saturday.
The weather service forecast was calling for a high near 18 on Thursday, today, followed by high temperatures near 27 on Friday and near 29 on Saturday. The temperature may climb above freezing by Sunday, when rain, freezing rain and sleet are possible.