Temperatures have been below average and at 20° and below for many days now in Central Iowa. We had a high of 20° on February 5th after hitting 40° for two days on the 3rd & 4th of the month. Temperatures have since been at 12° or lower for 7 days now and it looks to continue, but go even lower. This could be considered the longest stretch of some of the coldest air in 25 years.
WHO13 Meteorologists are forecasting a high of 1° this Saturday afternoon, but we’ll quickly return below zero by the end of the day. From Saturday evening through Tuesday afternoon, temperatures could very well remain below zero.
This stretch of sub-zero cold will be similar to the three day stretch of sub-zero temperatures in 1996. From February 1 to February 3rd, 1996, temperatures remained below zero. That was 25 years ago. During the 1996 cold stretch, Des Moines was at or below zero for 132 consecutive hours.
But there is a caveat, if Des Moines does not get to 1 degree Saturday afternoon, the Iowa Capital first dropped to zero at 8 PM on Thursday night and had remained below zero as of 8 AM Saturday. If we don’t get above 0 this afternoon, we may not see 1° or higher until Tuesday afternoon.
Since February 6th, highs have been below 20°. Saturday February 13th is the 8th day Des Moines has had a high below 20°. Highs are not expected to be back above 20° until Friday February 19th. That will be 13 days with highs below 20°.
We could tie or break record minimum high temperatures in Des Moines Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
We will come close to record lows the next three mornings, but may not quite get there.
Sunday Forecast Low: -10° / Record Low: -14° 1936
Monday Forecast Low: -14° / Record Low: -17° 1936
Tuesday Forecast Low: -17° / Record Low: -19° 1958
A Wind Chill Warning goes into effect for all of Central Iowa Saturday night and will last through noon on Monday. Wind chills will drop from -30° to -40° in the early morning hours of both Sunday and Monday morning. Temperatures will range from -15° to -20°.