A WINTER STORM WARNING has been issued for the entire viewing area starting this evening at 6pm until Friday at midnight.

A WIND CHILL WARNING has been issued for the entire viewing area starting at midnight Wednesday until noon Friday.

Today will be the last day we’ll see temperatures above freezing until after Christmas. Highs will make it into the low to mid 30s this afternoon thanks to a bit of a south wind. We could see some gusts to around 20mph, though, and that will keep our wind chills in the 20s.

The powerful arctic front arrives late tonight and into tomorrow with temperatures plummeting thereafter. Winds will be gusting to around 40mph, and that will already make it feel like -20° to -25° by the time you wake up tomorrow. This system will bring snow with it but the main hazard will be the bitterly cold temperatures and dangerously cold wind chills. Here’s a look at what conditions may look like early Thursday morning.

Snowfall totals will probably not be the big story with this event, although accumulating snow is still likely and so is drifting of that snow. With winds gusting up towards 40 mph visibility will be reduced significantly with near blizzard conditions possible. As of right now, here is what the KSNT Stormtrack Weather Team is thinking for snowfall totals across the area; it should be noted that models have started to back off of the higher amounts as the cold front looks to come through faster, bringing the dry, frigid air with it.

Perhaps even more concerning at this time is the arrival of dangerously cold wind chills. The Arctic air mass that is set to intrude our viewing area by Wednesday evening, will also bring wind gusts of 40+ mph. That means that wind chills could drop into the -20s and -30s, and even as low as -40° by early Friday.

Heading into the holiday weekend, things will still be extremely cold, but we should start to see improvements. Christmas Eve looks sunny with highs in the lower 10s, and Christmas morning we may actually start to see our lows get above 0°. It may not be until Monday or Tuesday that we get above freezing again.