Life-threatening wind chills threaten QC

January 5, 2014 by  
Filed under Wind Energy Tips

Temperatures well below zero coupled with high winds will create life-threatening wind chills over the next several days, and the National Weather Service is warning people it will be best to stay indoors if possible.

“The best advice we can give at this point is to hunker down and stay inside if you can do that,” said meteorologist John Haase of the National Weather Service, Davenport.

A wind-chill warning is in effect from noon today until noon Tuesday, he said.

“The worst of it is going to be Sunday night into Monday morning,” Haase said. “We’re looking at wind-chill factors that are going to be anywhere from 30 degrees below zero to 50 degrees below zero.

“If you go outside, you need to be totally covered. With temperatures like that flesh can freeze in a matter of minutes.”

Some people will have no choice but to be outside during the cold, such as police.

“We wear layers and layers, lots of layers,” Davenport Police Lt. Shawn Voigts said.

“Crime does not stop for cold weather,” he said. “Wrecks don’t stop, traffic stops have to be made, and investigations have to continue.

“We also wear our winter hats, gloves and socks. A lot of our guys now have those face scarves that they can pull down to talk and then put back into place. Those work pretty well. If we have to be indoors, we can shed some of the layers.”

The high Saturday reached 33 degrees at 2:30 p.m. at the Quad-City International Airport, Moline, before the winds turned around and began blowing from the north. By 5 p.m., the temperature had fallen to 23 degrees.

Haase said the cold would work its way in overnight Saturday into Sunday.

Today’s high is expected to reach only 4 degrees with a north wind of 15-20 mph, gusting to as high as 30 mph. The temperature should fall to minus 4 by 5 p.m.

The low tonight into Monday is expected to dip to minus 21 degrees. The wind will create wind-chill values as low as minus 40 to minus 50 degrees, Haase said.

Monday’s high temperature will be around minus 13 degrees, he said. Wind-chill values will be between minus 45 degrees and minus 50 degrees.

“It’s going to be ugly,” Haase said.

Terri Gleize, director of King’s Harvest Ministries in Davenport, which has a homeless shelter, food bank and serves lunches Wednesday and Friday and breakfast on Saturdays, said all of the area’s shelters are full.

“We seem to have more homeless this year,” she said. “I don’t know what’s going on, but we have people packed everywhere. The cold is making it worse.”

King’s Harvest also has a pet assistance program. Sadly, Gleize said, “we’re getting calls every day from people who are finding animals outside. With this cold, people need to bring their pets inside.”

Tuesday’s high is expected climb above zero to 4 degrees, Haase said. Temperatures around the area should climb back into the teens by Wednesday and reach into the middle 30s by Saturday.

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