You knew it would happen sooner or later.
You know, that one week where we feel like we should just get out of Minnesota for good....NOW! Okay, enough drama. But do get ready for a couple of arctic air surges this week. The arctic outbreaks should easily being the coldest air so far this season, and possibly the coldest air we'll see the entire winter.
This air mass has the potential to be a pipe busting, battery draining, tree cracking shot of arctic air.
Let's break down the details.
Tuesday: The first salvo of arctic air is already pouring south into Minnesota. Sub -zero temps have been pooling north of the border, and we'll feel the bite of arctic air across all of Minnesota by Tuesday morning.
Temperatures will plunge to -20 to -25 in northern Minnesota Tuesday morning, with highs staying below to near 0 in the north. Wind chills will be in the dangerous -25 to -40 range.
In the south temps will fall to 0 to -7 Tuesday morning. Highs Tuesday will stagger into single digits above, with sub-zero wind chills.
Wednesday: Wednesday's saving grace will be light winds, as the center of a bubble of arctic high pressure drifts over Minnesota. It will still be cold though, as the core of the first arctic air mass drifts overhead. The sun will shine, but bitter air and reflection off of fresh snow cover will render any warming nearly useless.
(wow...There's a real day brightener!)
Lows Wednesday morning will be in the -20 to -25 range again up north, with lows near -5 south. Highs near 0 north with single digits (above) south.
Thursday & Friday: The second and stronger arctic front will bring the "mother lode" of bitterly cold air into Minnesota Thursday & Friday. Temperatures may actually fall below zero during the day Thursday on bitter northwest winds. Wind chills could reach -25 to -40 by Thursday evening.
Thursday night/Friday morning may (hopefully) be the coldest of the entire winter season. Lows in northern Minnesota could reach -30. Lows by Friday morning in southern Minnesota (including the metro) could reach -15 to -20.
The forecast models have been all over the place with the magnitude of the coming cold wave. I'm leaning on the colder side with this forecast for a couple of reasons.
1) Air temperatures are currently running between -30 and -50 in north central Canada with this air mass.
2) Forecast models often underestimate the magnitude of arctic outbreaks in Minnesota.
Even though it looks like we'll get a brief and somewhat glancing blow of arctic air this week, this should easily be the coldest air mass so far this season.
Extreme cold won't last: Want some better news? It looks like temperatures will recover into at least the 20s (above zero!) later this weekend and into next week. At least the cold won't last.
Top 5 record winter snowfall in sight:
We've piled up 53.9" of snowfall so far this winter season in the Twin Cities. That's close to the seasonal average of 55.9" for the entire winter!
If we get just average snowfall the rest of the winter (about another 26") that would put us close to a top 5 winter snow status for the metro. Here's the data from Twin Cities NWS.
Prepare for cold this week..after all this is Minnesota in winter!
Um ya that's pretty cold and I'm super glad I bought those winter bibs now because I do walk to work. BTW um not to be super grumpy but there were a LOT of spelling mistakes in this.
Not that it makes a huge difference, but I sent the NWS an email on the 98.4 total for 1983-84. The State Climate Office lists 98.6 inches. Just in case we get close to the record this year, there's no controversy. :)