Kansans will say goodbye to 2017 and hello to 2018 with chattering teeth.
Hutchinson could flirt with establishing a new historic low for Dec. 31, according to Mary Knapp, assistant state climatologist.
The current recorded low for Dec. 31 is 7 degrees below zero on the last day of 1953. The overnight low for Sunday, Dec. 31, into Monday, Jan. 1, is forecast to plunge to 6 degrees below zero.
Even if the thermometer doesn’t reach a new record, the closing days of this year likely will double as the coldest for 2017 in the Hutchinson area. Currently, the coldest point this year occurred overnight Jan. 7-8, 2017, when temperatures dipped to 5 degrees above zero, Knapp said.
The forecasted low for Hays on Saturday night is zero degrees with a chance of snow flurries. Wind chill values could reach as low as minus-13. Sunday’s high is forecasted at eight degrees with the overnight low predicted of minus-6.
At the National Weather Service in Wichita, meteorologist Ken Cook said the lows on Saturday, Sunday and Monday could fall to zero or below for the Hutchinson vicinity.
An arctic air mass is causing the cold weather, and the National Weather Service is warning of dangerously cold temperatures and wind chills over the northern and central plains, the Great Lakes and the northeast.
The wind chill will be the main “talking point,” Cook said.
By 8 a.m. on Sunday morning, it could feel about 18 degrees below zero in Hutchinson, and between 7 and 8 on Monday morning, it could feel about 20 degrees below zero, Cook said.
Overnight temperatures on Sunday going into Monday could dip to 5 degrees below zero in the Dodge City area. The record low for a Dec. 31 in Dodge City is 8 degrees below zero, and the National Weather Service’s Dodge City-based meteorologist Wesley Hovorka though temperatures would stay above that record.
Knapp and the NWS meteorologists Cook and the Dodge City-based Wesley Hovoka advised people to be aware of the wind chill effect.
“That’s something that they really need to be paying attention to,” Knapp said.
Dress in layers and have a winter weather survival kit in your car, Cook suggested. Be prepared if you are traveling in rural areas and the vehicle experiences trouble and cell phone service is unavailable, he said.
Hovorka did not think Dodge City’s record low for Dec. 31 of 8 degrees below zero will be broken, but it definitely will be cold and overnight temperatures on Sunday night could sink to 5 degrees below zero in Dodge City, Hovorka said.