Bitter cold predicted for Panhandle
Residents of Panhandle Nebraska and into northeast Colorado are urged to prepare for bitterly cold temperatures starting Wednesday afternoon and evening.
The National Weather Service in Cheyenne, Wyo., is predicting temperatures to top out at about 30 degrees Wednesday morning, then falling to about 9-below zero for the rest of the day.
Snowfall is estimated to be only a couple inches, very strong winds, and temperatures could drop to 27 degrees below zero for "record-breaking cold."
Snowfall in the Sidney area is forecast at half an inch or less. The issue, as with last week's blizzard, is the winds expected to accompany the snow and cold. The National Weather Service is predicting west southwest wind 10 to 15 mph becoming north 20 to 25 mph in the afternoon. Winds could gust as high as 40 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80 percent Wednesday and falling to 60 percent Wednesday night.
An addition of an inch or less could happen into the night, according to the National Weather Service. As the night clears after 11 p.m., temperatures will continue to drop with wind chill temperatures possibly dropping to 50 to 60 below zero. Wind chill values will be -53 Wednesday evening. The "feels like temperature" will be -62 in Sidney, -61 in Scottsbluff, and -63 in Torrington on Thursday morning.
Wind chill values won't get above -40 on Thursday and won get above zero until noon on Saturday.
Early Tuesday, Dec. 20, Cheyenne County Sheriff Adam Frerichs released a Wind Chill Warning expected to impact southeast Wyoming and the western Nebraska Panhandle. Farmers and ranchers are urged to plan appropriately as well. The warning is in effect through 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 23.
Temperatures are expected to return to a seasonal range in the 40s for Christmas Day.