The cold temperatures are expected to continue into next week. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)
The cold temperatures are expected to continue into next week. (DHI Media/Kirsten Barnhart)
VAN WERT — The end of 2017 and beginning of 2018 is going in the record books as one of the longest cold waves of temperatures below 20 degrees,  according to Van Wert County Emergency Management Director Rick McCoy.  

“The last we saw the thermometer above 20 was on Christmas Eve, and we are expecting another full week ahead of these frigid temperatures,” said McCoy.

 The winters of 2014 and 2015 produced a lot of snow and some bitter cold temperatures, but neither of those winters had a two week period where  temperatures didn’t moderate a little bit.

“In the current pattern that we are in,  the Polar Express just keeps pumping bitter temperatures into the area with no brief warm up,” McCoy said. “The coldest days yet are expected beginning Sunday night.”

The EMA Director said the winter is panning out as expected so far due to the La Nina pattern in the Pacific Ocean which controls the weather pattern over the United States in the winter months. All predictions pointed to moisture above normal this winter with below normal temperatures.

 

“If this pattern continues, we could see somewhere close to 40 inches of snow across the region this winter,” McCoy said. “The normal average  for this area  should be 30 inches.  The last two years were well below normal.”

Last winter produced only 14.55 inches of snow, according to McCoy, and 10.5 inches the previous year. Looking back to three years ago, the area saw 42.3 inches of snow and the prior winter of 2014 a whopping 77.78 inches of snow.

For this afternoon and overnight, the National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for 2 to 3 inches of snow predicted across Van Wert. Temperatures are expected in the low teens today and Saturday  with lows  just below zero today and wind chills below -10.  

The real cold surge will hit Sunday night, so bundle up good when going out for New Years Eve celebrations as temps drop to -5 with wind chills of -14. New Years Day will only hit 7 degrees  with a bone chilling low of  -7 and wind chills in the  -15 to  -20 range.
Tuesday is expected to be even colder with highs maybe making it to 4 degrees with wind chills of -20 to -25.

The bitter cold continues through at least next Thursday with signs of a possible warm up next weekend into the upper 20’s.  

“[Make sure to] protect your skin from frostbite and  to protect animals and pets from these extreme temperatures,” said McCoy.