ALTON - Area residents who had to venture to work on this Martin Luther King Day encountered bitterly cold temps below zero degrees with wind chills in the negative 20-to-30-degree range on Monday, Jan. 15, 2024.

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Melissa Mainhart, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in St. Louis, said it had been about three years since the area had endured temps this cold for such a long duration.

“The last time we had temps in single digits for multiple days like this was Feb. 12-17, 2021,” Mainhart said. “I remember that year the Grand Basin in Forrest Park froze over in that period.”

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“This is a really cold air mass. This has performed about how we forecasted. We didn’t get to the top 10 of cold temps or wind chills in most locations, but Columbia and Quincy recorded the fifth coldest wind chills at their locations.”

Mainhart said the wind chill factors are so dangerous and that is why the National Weather Service in St. Louis has issued a Wind Chill Warning for much of the Mississippi Valley area.

She advised with the cold weather here, avoid going out unless necessary and make sure everyone wears proper layers of clothing and has the skin covered.

On Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024, the high temp is projected at 16 degrees and a low of 9, but on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2024, a high of 38 degrees is forecasted and then a high of 34 degrees on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2024. A high of 18 degrees has been predicted for both Friday, Jan. 19, 2024, and Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024. On Sunday, Jan. 21, 2024, a high of 30 degrees is predicted and Monday, Jan. 22, 2024, a high of 39 degrees is set in the forecast. On Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024, at present a high of 42 degrees is predicted and the following day a high of 48 degrees.

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