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Iowa City in store for a ‘deep freeze’

BY ARIANA WITT | JANUARY 18, 2011 7:10 AM

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Slush, snow, and spring semester.

University of Iowa students and Iowa City residents were greeted with rainy snow Monday that let up overnight. But going into today, state meteorologists warn: There’s a cold front coming.

“Iowa City will struggle to make 10 degrees on Friday,” said Bill Nichols, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Davenport.

Starting today, locals can expect highs of no more than 20 degrees, Nichols said, and lows dropping to minus-10 degrees by the weekend.

But it’s not the temperature those in the Iowa City area should worry about, Nichols said, it’s the wind chill.

“We’ll be below [zero] for the next few days,” he said of the wind-chill numbers.

Tonight, winds are expected to reach up to 25 mph, causing a wind chill of minus-10 degrees.

These wind chills aren’t unusual for Iowa winters.

The record temperature for today in history was minus-21 degrees in 1970, according to the weather service.

The worst weather this week will come on Friday, Nichols said, when wind-chill temperatures could get as low as minus-20 with strong winds up to 15 mph.

This will mark the third deep-freeze cold front in the area, he said, the last coming with similar wind chills in December.

“It was warmer than normal Monday on because of the snow, but it’s been colder than average compared with last year,” Nicholas said.

UI sophomore Jordan Willison said she spent the snowy Monday indoors and only ventured out for breakfast with friends.

“If it gets really cold, I’d like to see them cancel class, but I don’t think it will happen,” she said.

Nichols said it’s all just a part of winter, adding people should just “bundle up and try to stay out of the elements.”

Those who don’t might find themselves in car trouble.

Iowa City police reported accidents during Monday’s snowfall, but they did not specify if any were related to the ongoing weather.

Officials for the Iowa State Patrol in Cedar Rapids said bad weather led to several calls about accidents and vehicles in ditches Monday.

Nichols said the weather service probably won’t send out any advisories for the next few days, but a wind-chill advisory for Friday is likely. He said the front is expected to move out early next week.

Willison said the cold air won’t keep her indoors this weekend, but she might just stick to one hangout spot.

“I’m not going to give up my weekend,” she said.


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