Arctic air from Canada will continue to be in the area through the rest of the week. The coldest day may be today, the National Weather Service said.
A winter wonderland should remain an appropriate description of the Lawrence area through Christmas, even if the next snow doesn't fall on Friday as predicted, a forecaster said.
"Whatever snow is on the ground now will be on the ground until Christmas ... so the area should have a white Christmas from that standpoint," said John Woynick, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Topeka.
In any given year, the chance of a white Christmas is 20 to 25 percent, according to the NWS. The figure represents the chances that snow will fall or already is on the ground on Dec. 25.
Woynick said that Arctic high pressure from Canada has moved south, allowing extremely cold air to slide into the area and reinforce itself.
"We had our first wave and it just got a little bit colder and a little bit colder," he said. "When you get this Arctic cold air in here, it takes itself awhile to work itself out."
Contributing to cold temperatures, he said, is fallen snow, which reflects heat from the sun back to the atmosphere.
"The ground doesn't have a chance to absorb as much heat as it normally would, with the snow cover," he said.
The coldest morning and day of the week may be today, he said. Temperatures are forecast to bottom out between zero and minus 5. Highs today were expected to be only in the teens.
Lows Wednesday were expected to be around 10, with a high near 30.
Temperatures are forecast to dip Thursday, with lows near zero and highs in the teens.
On Christmas, forecasters are calling for a chance of snow, but Woynick said it was still too far out to say how much or where it will fall.
Between Arctic high pres of snow fell on the area Sunday and Monday, Woynick said.
The wind chill is going to be bitterly cold most of the week, Woynick said, hovering around zero.
"You just need to dress for the weather for the most part," he said.
In wind chills of 20 below zero, "Your skin can freeze in a matter of a few minutes.
"Limit your time outside if you're trying to do anything out there," he said.
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