NWS to experiment with 'extreme cold' warnings

Associated Press

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — National Weather Service offices in three states plan to experiment with a new public warning to alert people about dangerous cold.

The "extreme cold" warnings will supplement the wind chill advisories and warnings the agency already issues in North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota when strong winds exacerbate the effects of cold on people and animals, meteorologist John Paul Martin in Bismarck told The Jamestown Sun.

"We do have times when there are dangerously cold temperatures but no wind," Martin said. "We're adding another product to have something out there in those situations."

An extreme cold warning will be issued if the temperature is forecast to be 30 degrees below zero or colder with winds of less than 5 mph.

"Typically these conditions occur a few times each winter," Martin said. "It recognizes that conditions are dangerously cold without the wind.

"For the next two weeks, we're looking at colder-than-normal conditions for the area," he said. "We have true arctic air rolling right in from above the Arctic Circle."

The more typical wind chill advisory is issued if the wind chill is between 25 below and 39 below with winds of 5 mph or higher. A wind chill warning is issued if the wind chill is more than 40 degrees below zero and the winds are 5 mph or higher.

Any weather conditions must cover a large area and last for several hours before the weather service issues an advisory or warning.