Today will be as warm as it is going to get for Ottawa County residents, according to the National Weather Service.
An extensive snow pack and arctic air mass will push temperatures below zero throughout the week.
Snowfall accumulation is likely this afternoon and into early Thursday as another storm system tracks through the plains and Ozarks.
The system is expected to cause widespread snowfall accumulation of two to four inches, with locally higher amounts possible.
Wind gusts of 30 to 35 mph will produce blowing and drifting of snow late tonight and Thursday morning.
The coldest weather is expected Thursday through Sunday morning, with highs in the single digits and teens. Lows will range from minus five to five degrees and wind chill values at times in the minus 15 to 25 degree range Thursday and Friday.
NWS said the coldest night of the week will likely be Friday night into early Saturday morning, with temperatures falling to 10 below zero in some areas.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Ottawa County Emergency Manager Frank Geasland had not initiated the opening of area warming stations.
“If the need arises, we do have several area churches that will open their doors to residents who are without heat during extreme temperatures,” said Geasland. “So far, we haven’t had any requests, but if we do it’s just a phone call away.”
Due to the prolonged period of temperatures well below freezing and anticipated extreme wind chills, NWS said precautions and preparations should be taken to protect life and property, including checking on the elderly, outside pets, livestock and exposed plumbing.
Geasland said the best advice he can give is simply “stay inside” whenever possible.