Into the deep freeze
After getting hit with 4-7 inches of snow last Thursday, Monroe County residents braced themselves for an extended deep freeze which looks like it will stick around for the rest of the week.
Thursday’s snowfall closed schools throughout the county and forced the cancellation of a free COVID testing event in Tomah. It did delight snowmobilers who could be seen traveling the county’s trails after a relatively snowless winter.
No sooner had the snow been removed from the streets and sidewalks than polar temperatures descended on the area. The bitter cold caused organizers to cancel Tomah’s Freeze Fest Saturday, which despite its name, was even too cold for participants.
According to the National Weather Service in La Crosse, an Arctic air mass remains firmly entrenched across the Upper Mississippi Valley. Light snow flurries are associated with the air mass.
Highs are expected to remain in the single digits above zero, while clear night skies will allow temperatures to plunge into the negative teens.
No end to the cold is insight in the near future with single digit highs and lows below zero expected through the weekend. Night time wind chills will make it feel more like 10 to 30 below. In addition, there will be periodic light snow chances, although accumulations look minor.
Mike Arnold, owner of Arnold’s Service and Towing in Sparta, said calls for assistance in getting vehicles started always go up when the mercury drops.
Most of them, he said, are due to battery and fuel issues. He encourages people to maintain their batteries.
“When you have a weak battery when it’s 20 to 30 below, that’s when you’re going to find out if your battery is going to survive the winter,” he said.
Another weather-related problem with plunging temperatures is tires. Arnold said fluctuations in the temperature can cause tires to deflate and he recommends checking air pressure to ensure tires are properly inflated.