Friday is expected to be this year's coldest day so far, with a wind chill advisory lasting until noon.
Thursday's high temperatures peaked at 18 degrees in the early morning, with area experiencing a steady decrease in temperatures throughout the day, said meteorologist Tim Gross of the National Weather Service.
Overnight temperatures were expected to fall below zero for the first time since Jan. 22, he said. Temperatures may drop to 4 below zero and, fueled by winds of 10 to 20 miles per hour, create a wind chill estimated to be as low as 25 degrees below zero.
Despite mostly sunny skies Friday, temperatures are expected to max out at 13 degrees. This pales in comparison to the record low of 21 degrees below zero set in 1996, yet it remains lower than the average highs of the low 30s for the end of January, Mr. Gross said.
The phenomenon of colder temperatures after a snowfall is commonly attributed to snow's high "albedo," the intensity at which something reflects light and radiation from the sun, Mr. Gross explained. This radiation is "bounced" back into the atmosphere rather than warming the earth, he added.
Once the snow melts sometime next week, temperatures are expected to return to normal, the meteorologist said.
Today is Thursday, Dec. 5, the 339th day of 2013. There are 26 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: A new passenger car has been placed on the Coal Valley railroad, and R.R. Cable is running the trains at present. 1888 -- 125 years ago: The Rev. G.W. Gue preached a convincing sermon on the need of a new First Methodist Church in Rock Island 1913 -- 100 years ago: Dr. W.S. Marquis preached his farewell sermon at Broadway Presbyterian Church to the combined congregations from First Methodist, First Baptist, United Presbyterian and South Park Presbyterian churches. 1938 -- 75 years ago: Rock Island's mayor is seeking to enforce the rules governing PWA projects in the city which state that local men are to be hired for the work. 1963 -- 50 years ago: The Argus Santa Claus requests that the names of needy Rock Island boys and girls through 12 years of age be registered by parents or guardians from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 11or Dec. 14. 1988 -- 25 years ago: Alcoa and its employee union have reached tentative agreement on a 43-month labor contract covering about 7,500 workers at six plants, including 1,900 employees at Alcoa's Davenport Works, company and union officials said today.