The National Weather Service issued a wind chill warning for Adair County and several surrounding communities beginning this evening, and it will remain in effect until Thursday.
The warning, which begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday, is in response to an arctic air mass passing through the Midwest, which is expected to bring extremely low temperatures and wind chills of up to 40 below zero.
Jared Leighton, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service Kansas City/Pleasant Hill Weather Forecast Office, said outdoor temperatures are expected to reach minus 15 tomorrow morning and minus 10 Thursday morning which, combined with 5-15 mph winds, could mean wind chills of between 30 and 40 below zero.
Leighton said the arctic air mass moving over the snow-covered ground in Kirksville and most of Northern Missouri means the cold air will likely not warm up. Further south, where there is less snowpack, the arctic air will become warmer and not result in the extreme wind chills expected in Kirksville.
Leighton said people should minimize time spent outside during the wind chill warning and wear as many layers as possible. He also advised keeping cars in garages and taking precautions to keep pipes from freezing, as cold arctic air masses tend to harm engines and household infrastructure.
After Thursday, the NWS predicts temperatures will rise, with highs above freezing predicted over the weekend and into the beginning of next week.