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Dangerously cold temperatures throughout Iowa on Wednesday could cause frostbites within minutes, meteorologists warned. WHO-HD TV, Des Moines Register

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As a polar vortex brings arctic air to Iowa, making the state colder than Antarctica itself, forecasters say much warmer days are ahead.

Sunday's high of 50 degrees in Des Moines means a whopping 70 degrees will separate the coming weekend from Wednesday morning's minus-20 temperature — a new record low for Jan. 30 in the capital, the National Weather Service says.

Even Friday's high of 27 will feel like a big improvement, meteorologists say. And it gets better from there: Saturday's high is 43. Sunday's will be close to 50. Dense fog and drizzle are possible both days.

More: Polar vortex timeline: Des Moines conditions will worsen, but there's light at the end of the tunnel

"Today is the coldest day by far," said Allan Curtis, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Des Moines. "And this weekend, we're looking at mid- to upper-40s across the state."

Near the state's southern border, temperatures could even reach the mid-50s on Sunday, he said. 

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More: Iowa weather: Overnight cold broke multiple decades-old records. See if your city came close

Southerly winds are to thank, Curtis said. But unfortunately, the relatively warm weekend won't be enough to melt much of the snow and ice blanketing Iowa, he said.

After the weekend, the forecast predicts a breezy Monday with a high of 34 degrees. More snow is possible Tuesday.

More: 2 dogs left outside in extreme cold are rescued, Des Moines shelter says

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