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December 3, 2013

Temperatures set to plummet this week

OTTUMWA — Winter in Iowa sometimes means you get a big dose of the bad with the good. The upcoming week is a case in point.

The good news: forecasters don’t expect much, if any, snow in the area for the next several days.

The bad news: the bottom is about to fall out for temperatures.

Kurt Kotenberg, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said temperatures won’t rise much during the day for the next several days, but overnight lows will plunge. The practical result is that temperatures will be a good 10-15 degrees below normal.

Kotenberg noted that Bismarck, N.D., had a temperature of 8 degrees above zero on Tuesday morning. “We’re going to have all that air moving toward the area,” he said.

Temperatures are expected to fall through the day Wednesday. The low overnight will fall to about 21. That doesn’t sound all that bad until you realize Thursday’s high will only rise three degrees. The same thing will happen that night.

“Friday morning’s low temperatures will be in the single digits to teens,” Kotenberg said. “But the wind chill values will be closer to zero.”

Saturday will be the low point for the forecast, with daytime highs struggling to reach the upper teens. Then the rebound starts. Sunday will climb back into the 20s, and early next week could see temperatures rising.

That’s good news. But, being Iowa, there has to be a balance there. The warming weather will bring moisture back into the air and with it a chance of snow.

It’s too early to say just how much snow the area might see or where it will fall. But this could emerge as the first chance for significant snowfall in southeast Iowa.

All that’s sure right now is that it’s going to be uncomfortably, even dangerously, cold later this week.

“It’s Iowa,” said Kotenberg. "It’s December. It gets cold. But this is definitely going to be below normal.”

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