Cone Park Opening

Orlando Augustine, of Sioux City, enjoys tubing at Cone Park in Sioux City on Thursday. Temperatures in the single digits did not deter visitors from enjoying sliding down the hill at the park on Wednesday.

Justin Wan, Sioux City Journal file

SIOUX CITY | If you've got any errands or other business that necessitates a trip outside, Thursday is the day to get it done.

Maybe Friday, too.

But after that, temperatures might not get above zero again until next week.

"This weekend is going to be almost dangerously cold," said Jen Hacker, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Sioux Falls.

That forecast makes the next couple days look almost tropical.

After a high temperature of 6 degrees Wednesday, the high is expected to reach 19 degrees Thursday and possibly 12 degrees Friday.

The recent run of frigid weather hasn't kept everyone inside.

Cone Park in Sioux City reopened to the public at 9 a.m. Wednesday after shutting down Tuesday because of a mechanical issue. On Wednesday afternoon, Parks and Recreation Director Matt Salvatore said that despite negative wind chills, the park was seeing a decent turnout at its tubing hill.

"We actually had a nice crowd this afternoon," Salvatore said. "Cold temperatures are probably affecting usage a little bit, but there’s still a crowd there."

Salvatore said the park’s warming lodge and fire pit have helped park visitors warm up.

The Iowa Department of Natural Resources cautioned others hoping to enjoy another favorite winter outdoor activity -- ice fishing.

Area lakes and ponds are freezing over in the arctic-like weather, but the DNR reminded anglers to check the ice often to make sure it's 4 inches thick, the thickness recommended by the DNR. At least 5 inches is recommended before snowmobiles and ATVs on ice-covered bodies of water.

"Check ice thickness as you go out. Ice thickness is not uniform on any body of water," Joe Larscheid, DNR chief of fisheries, said in a news release.

That ice should get much thicker this weekend.

Forecasts call for a high of 1 below zero on Saturday and 3 below zero on Sunday. Wind chills Friday night through Sunday night could be up to 30 below zero. If temperatures stay below zero this weekend, it will be the first time Sioux City has experienced two consecutive days below zero since Jan. 10-11, 1997.

Sioux City also could receive up to 2 inches of snow late Thursday into Friday.

Hacker reminded anyone going outside to bundle in layers and wear gloves to protect skin against the icy temperatures.

"Stay aware of it and don't spend too much time outside if you don't have to," she said.

Journal reporter Ian Richardson contributed to this report.


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