Public Safety

Record low temperatures sweep through Iowa, but we've seen this before

A crosswalk beacon is reflected in a puddle on the sidewalk in Cedar Rapids on the morning of Monday, Jan. 28, 2019. A snowstorm dropped 2 to 6 inches of snow across Eastern Iowa overnight, causing school delays and cancellations throughout the area. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)
A crosswalk beacon is reflected in a puddle on the sidewalk in Cedar Rapids on the morning of Monday, Jan. 28, 2019. A snowstorm dropped 2 to 6 inches of snow across Eastern Iowa overnight, causing school delays and cancellations throughout the area. (Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette)

“Dangerous, life-threatening” wind chills and temperatures, like the ones predicted to hit Iowa this week, can be frightening and longtime Iowa residents have seen this side of the thermometer before.

According to the National Weather Service, a windchill advisory will be in effect starting Tuesday afternoon and will continue through Thursday morning. Wednesday temperatures are expected to reach highs of -14 degrees and lows of close-to -30. Windchill is expected to drop below -50 in the evenings, which is where the danger lies.

Cedar Rapids has experienced similar warnings in the past and Wednesday’s forecast predicts temperatures reaching the city’s lowest-recorded January temperature, which was ten years ago on Jan. 15 2009 at -29 degrees, according to the National Weather Service.

Although, data for Cedar Rapids is only available back to 1893 and the National Weather Service has suggested that there is evidence suggesting even colder temperatures for Cedar Rapids in the 1880s.

As for record lows on Jan. 30 in surrounding areas, Burlington reached -20 in 1899, Cedar Rapids reached -22 in 1951 and Dubuque reached -25 in 1951.

The National Weather Service advices those who must venture outdoors to bundle up with multiple layers this week and take precautions to limit skin exposure to the cold air to avoid frostbite or hypothermia.

CONTINUE READING

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.