IOWA — The bitterly cold temperatures have returned to Iowa. A Wind Chill Advisory is in effect for parts of Northern Iowa already. Wind chills will remain in the teens below zero throughout the rest of Wednesday thanks to a strong NW wind gusting to 30 mph north of Hwy 30. Central and southern Iowa will be added to this wind chill advisory headline at 6:00 p.m. until noon on Thursday as even colder air expands south after sunset.

Even though the wind will let up throughout the overnight, the coldest air will arrive early Thursday morning as temperatures dip below zero across the entire state. Wind will be out of the northwest between 5 and 15 mph, but that will still make it feel between 20 and 30° below zero.

When traveling, be sure to keep your gas tank more than halfway full, pack extra clothes, a phone charger, blankets, food, and water in your vehicle. When at home, do not leave pets outdoors for more than five minutes, keep space heaters clear of other objects and blankets to avoid a fire, and never use a gas stove or oven to heat your home.

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If you do have to be outside, make sure to cover your mouth to protect your lungs, wear several layers of loose-fitting and water-resistant clothing, and stay hydrated. With wind chill values as low as -20° to -30° frostbite can develop on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes. According to the Mayo Clinic, a person’s fingertips, toes, ears, chin, cheeks, and nose are most susceptible to frostbite. Symptoms of frostbite include a prickling feeling, numbness, a change in skin color, and clumsiness due to joint and muscle stiffness.

Improvement arrives Friday

Even though it will still be cold, we’ll see some improvement in the overall temperatures by Friday. As high pressure departs to the east Thursday into Friday, so will the extreme cold. Highs will climb back into the teens on Friday and the 20s on Saturday.

For more forecast information check out www.who13.com/weather.