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Dangerous wind chills are expected overnight

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — The coldest air of the winter thus far settles in overnight and Friday. With breezy winds still in place, dangerous wind chills strike through Friday morning.

Arctic air floods the Stateline overnight, dropping temperatures to near -10°. Breezy north winds create wind chills between -15° and -20° as a result. When wind chills get within the -20° or colder range, frostbite is possible on exposed skin within 30 minutes.

The National Weather Service issued Wind Chill Advisories Thursday afternoon to highlight where and when the dangerous wind chills will take place. Most of northern Illinois and all of southern Wisconsin are under the advisory. The advisory is in effect until 10 am Friday. After 10 am Friday, we should be warm enough to be out of the dangerous wind chill range. However, conditions will still be very cold Friday.

If you have to be outdoors tonight and/or tomorrow morning, try to limit your time spent in the cold. Cover up all exposed skin, and dress in layers. This all may sound common sense, but we haven't had cold like this yet this winter, so take this as a friendly reminder.

Friday remains very chilly, with high temperatures barely getting back into the teens. Wind chills remain near or below zero throughout the day. A bright sunny sky hangs overhead, which may take a little of the edge off of the cold.

All things considered, this is only the first time we have to brace for subzero temperatures this winter, which shows how mild overall this winter has been. The Arctic air outbreak is very short-lived. Temperatures rebound very quickly once we get into the weekend. Highs will be back into the low to middle 30's by Saturday. By Monday, we may approach 40° with rain in the forecast! Keep these warmer thoughts in mind as you get through the harsh cold the next two days.

Alex Kirchner

Alex Kirchner is the Chief Meteorologist at 13 WREX. He’s a University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, and joined the 13 Weather Authority in 2014.

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