ST. LOUIS – Tuesday is the second day of the dreaded “Polar Vortex,” which is a winter system pulled by current weather patterns much further south than usual.

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This means weather usually reserved for the North Pole in winter has sunk into the heart of the continent, bringing with it some of the coldest air Riverbend residents have ever seen. A cold front moving through the area Tuesday afternoon will drop temperatures throughout the day. Alongside that cold front will be winds gusting to 15 mph expected to start around noon. This will bring wind chills to around eight to 10 degrees by Tuesday afternoon and around zero by evening.

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Lows by Wednesday morning will be hovering around or below zero, with wind chills being as low as negative 25 degrees, National Weather Service (NWS) Meteorologist Patrick Walsh said Tuesday. These low temperatures will continue throughout the day on Wednesday, as temperatures are not expected to exceed five degrees as a high. The gusty winds of Tuesday, however, will be vanquished by Wednesday morning, meaning wind chills Wednesday into Friday will be a lot less degrees below zero, but still below zero.

Flurries are also possible Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday night as well as Thursday. Small clipper systems will move through the area at these times, but are likely to leave little more than a dusting – if they leave anything at all.

Thursday will begin a warming trend – though rather modestly at first – as its highs will reach into the 20s. By Friday, however, the daunting Polar Vortex will take its leave and head east, leaving behind a weather pattern from the Southwest instead of the North Pole. This will bring temperatures to a balmy 40 degrees at least Friday.

This trend will continue throughout the weekend as Saturday is expected to see 50 degrees, Sunday is expected to reach into the 50s and Monday could almost reach 60 degrees. Yes, that does mean temperatures will have fluctuated more than 50 degrees in the span of a week.

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