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Archive for Sunday, January 5, 2014

Wind chill warning expires, advisory in effect for Douglas County

Allan Umscheid, owner of Yards By Al, feels the bitter cold wind and catches drifting snow on his face as he runs a snowblower downtown early Sunday morning, Jan. 5, 2014. Several inches of snow fell on the Lawrence area overnight and wind chill values are forecast to be as low as minus 25 to minus 32 Sunday night through Monday morning.

Allan Umscheid, owner of Yards By Al, feels the bitter cold wind and catches drifting snow on his face as he runs a snowblower downtown early Sunday morning, Jan. 5, 2014. Several inches of snow fell on the Lawrence area overnight and wind chill values are forecast to be as low as minus 25 to minus 32 Sunday night through Monday morning.

January 5, 2014, 6:27 p.m. Updated January 6, 2014, 12:07 p.m.

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Today's weather

The National Weather Service's wind chill warning for Douglas County expired at noon and in its place is a wind chill advisory, lasting until 9 a.m. Tuesday.

The advisory still cautions against frostbite and hypothermia and recommends wearing layers, a hat and gloves to protect from the bitter cold.

The forecast calls for a high of 6 degrees, with wind chill values between minus 12 and minus 19, according to the National Weather Service.

Tonight's low may reach down to minus 2, with west winds creating wind chill values between minus 9 and minus 14.

School closings

A face-numbing winter blast caused few weather-related incidents during the weekend, but sub-zero temperatures closed schools today in Lawrence and surrounding communities.

Click here for area closings.

At 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Lawrence USD 497 announced that classes were canceled "due to safety concerns with frigid temperatures forecasted for Monday."

Baldwin City, Tonganoxie and Eudora school districts also will not hold classes, citing low temperatures, winds and road conditions.

The Eudora-De Soto Technical Education Center also will be closed.

The weekend's brutal conditions

Overnight Sunday temperatures were projected to dip to minus 10 degrees, with north winds of 10 to 15 mph and gusts of up to 25 mph causing wind chill values between minus 20 and minus 30.

"It looks like areas in Douglas County ranged from a couple inches up to 5 inches," said Bill Gargan, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Topeka.

The Lawrence area accumulated about 4 inches of snow Saturday night into Sunday, according to estimates by the National Weather Service.

Few incidents

Neither Lawrence Memorial Hospital nor any city or county emergency response units reported anything extreme prior to Sunday night. The worst of it all seemed to be a few vehicles sliding off the roads, according to Lt. Randall Cheek, a Douglas County Sheriff's Department spokesperson.

"Most of those really weren't due to the roads, they did a good job on the roads this weekend ahead of the storm," Cheek said. "Most of the slide-offs we had were because of the drifting and low visibility."

Cheek said he did not know of any injuries that resulted from such incidents, and that anybody who required roadside vehicle assistance wasn't left out in the cold for too long.

But the weather did cause other nuisances. Cheek said on several occasions throughout the county, strong winds had blown open doors and set off alarms.

A nursing supervisor at Lawrence Memorial Hospital said they had not treated any weather-related ailments such as hypothermia or frostbite as of Sunday afternoon.

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