OTTUMWA — The past week’s wild weather swings will continue over the next several days as midweek highs in the 50s will plunge into the 30s by Thursday.
The National Weather Service expects temperatures to be in the mid-40s to low 50s through Wednesday, with partly to mostly sunny skies during the day. While slightly cooler than normal for this time of year, things aren’t nearly as bad as they could be for November. Tuesday night’s low isn’t even expected to drop below freezing.
That changes Wednesday night, when the low will fall to about 26 degrees. Thursday won’t warm up much, with temperatures only rising the the mid-30s. Thursday night falls even lower, dropping into the teens.
After another chilly day Friday, temperatures will rebound again. Saturday will be warmer, with highs near 50.
Despite the rapid changes in the daily highs, there is some good news. Forecasters do not expect a repeat of last week’s wintry weather in Ottumwa, and no snow is in the forecast. While the Climate Prediction Center expects temperatures in the eastern half of the country to be below normal for the next six to 10 days, the three-month outlook anticipates warmer than usual temperatures for most of the country.
Preparations for winter are well underway. The Jefferson Street Viaduct was closed Monday for fall maintenance. The routine work takes place each year and closes the span for a day.
Iowa’s Winter Awareness Day is scheduled for Thursday. Winter is the most variable season for southeast Iowa, with the biggest range between record highs and record lows, as well as risk ranging from ice storms to lethal cold.