The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

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January 3, 2014

Snow, sub-zero temperatures to hit area this weekend

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The coldest winter storm of this season is about to push through the region, bringing chances for snow and sub-zero temperatures, according to the National Weather Service in Springfield.

An arctic front will begin to move into the Joplin area Saturday night, with light rain or drizzle beginning in the afternoon that will change over to snow around sunset, meteorologist Gene Hatch said.

“We will see snowfall amounts somewhere around the 2- to 4-inch range,” he said. “A lot of that will depend on how quickly the cold air moves in and how quickly the rain turns to snow.”

While snowfall should come to an end by Sunday morning, bitterly cold temperatures will stick around. Hatch said low temperatures on Monday morning are expected to be around zero, with the day’s high temperature climbing to only around 10 degrees. Wind chill values could be between minus 10 and minus 20 degrees, he said.

It won’t be much better on Tuesday, when the low temperature will be around 2 degrees with wind chills between minus 5 and minus 15 degrees, Hatch said.

Hatch said the last time this region saw high temperatures that were below 10 degrees was in January 2010. The last time the region had low temperatures below zero degrees was in 2011, he said.

“This will be the coldest air mass that we’ve seen this winter so far,” he said.

Hatch said the arctic front was still in northern Canada on Friday afternoon, where high temperatures at the time were minus 15 degrees. Areas in North Dakota and Minnesota, where the cold front is expected to move through early Saturday, were forecasting high temperatures around minus 25 degrees, excluding wind chill, he said.

Hatch said this region could see a slight warm-up by the middle of next week, although meteorologists are eyeing another storm system that could develop around that time and bring with it another round of wintry precipitation.

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