Cold blast: Strong winds will make cold feel even colderJamestown and most of central and western North Dakota is under a wind chill advisory from the National Weather Service office in Bismarck starting at 3 a.m. today. Temperatures were expected to drop to minus 4 by 6 a.m. with the wind chill factor making it feel like 27 below zero.
By: By Chris Olson, The Jamestown Sun, The Jamestown Sun
Jamestown and most of central and western North Dakota is under a wind chill advisory from the National Weather Service office in Bismarck starting at 3 a.m. today. Temperatures were expected to drop to minus 4 by 6 a.m. with the wind chill factor making it feel like 27 below zero.
But that is not the worst, as the NWS has the same area under a wind chill warning starting at 4 p.m. today through 9 a.m. Friday. With winds blowing steady from 15 to 20 mph out of the northwest, with gusts to 25 mph tonight through Thursday night, wind chills of minus 40 to minus 50 are forecasted.
“To have a wind chill warning lasting this long, that is kind of unusual,” said Terry Merriman, lead forecaster with the NWS Bismarck office.
The rule for issuing a wind chill warning is any time the wind chill is forecasted to reach minus 40.
“We have the wind chill at minus 40 to minus 50 Wednesday afternoon through Friday morning,” Merriman said. “These wind chills are very dangerous in terms of exposure. Stay inside, don’t go out unless you absolutely have to.”
Artic air that was bottled up over the Yukon and Northwest Territories in Canada moved down into North Dakota Tuesday afternoon. Once the arctic air moves in it will be over the west and central parts of North Dakota until Friday morning when warm Pacific air is expected to move in.
Merriman said the high temperature for today will be the minus 4 reading expected to happen around 6 or 7 a.m.
“It will continue to fall throughout the day, with a high of minus 9 happening around 5 p.m,” he said. “The wind chill will be around minus 40 and will go lower as we move into the evening.”
The low temperature will be minus 20 with a wind chill factor of minus 50 going into Thursday.
Merriman said things will not improve much during the day on Thursday with the high temperature forecast at minus 13 with the wind chill again expected to be around minus 50.
“Things start to improve some on Thursday night,” he said. The temperatures will drop to minus 22, but the winds will decrease some from 8 to 14 mph with a wind chill factor of minus 40.
Friday the arctic air mass will begin to move off to the east, with a high of 10 degrees forecasted and low of 2 Friday night. A 20 percent chance of snow is called for as well.
“Saturday you will see a big improvement around Jamestown,” Merriman said.
It will be mostly cloudy Saturday with a high temperature of 27 and low Saturday night of 13. Sunday should be mostly sunny with a high of 28 and low of 12 on Sunday night.
The severe weather happening in the deep South is drawing the arctic air down into North Dakota. Merriman said the area is oscillating between warm and cold weather, which is normal for North Dakota going into February.
Sun reporter Chris Olson can be reached at 701-952-8454 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org