COLUMBIA — Enjoyed Sunday's weather? Columbia probably won't see warm temperatures like that again until at least mid-March.
The polar vortex returns to Columbia on Tuesday, bringing with it light snow flurries during the evening, National Weather Service meteorologists in St. Louis said. Wednesday morning temperatures will be the coldest this week with lows around 7 degrees Fahrenheit.
Temperatures will remain below monthly averages for the next two weeks. Highs at least through the first week of March will remain mostly in the 20s with lows nearly every night in the teens. There is a chance of snow again both Thursday and Friday.
Normal averages for March range between 34 and 55 degrees, according to the National Weather Service. The average for March is 43.5 degrees.
The polar vortex occurs every winter in the Hudson Bay area. It is the strong high pressure system of colder air that was responsible for the unusually frigid temperatures this December and January, said Melissa Byrd, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in St. Louis.
Because of the anticipated conditions, the community is extending its services to the homeless.
The Room at the Inn, a service provided by local churches, will remain open until the morning of March 6 in response to the colder weather forecasts. Hours of operation will remain 6:30 p.m. to 7 a.m.
On March 1, the service's location will switch from Community United Methodist Church to Broadway United Methodist Church.
The city's warming stations will continue to be open during regular business hours. Central warming stations include the public library, the Armory Sports and Recreation Center, the Activity and Recreation Center, the Salvation Army and city government buildings.