Black Ice Alert:
There are numerous accidents on Minnesota & Twin Cities’ roadways today. Temperature near zero is causing car exhaust to freeze on roadways, and (invisible) “black ice” is the result. Expect icy spots from black ice (and a little snow) today as the arctic air moves in.
MNDOT Traffic Cam shows car spun backwards at I-35 & McAndrews Road this morning.
Arctic front (finally) arrives:
The well advertised arctic front is here. The front is moving south through Minnesota and Wisconsin today as arctic air pours in behind it.
Temperatures are below zero in northwest Minnesota and North Dakota, and will stay below zero all day. Temps will remain steady or begin to fall below zero in southern Minnesota later today into tonight.
Wind Chill advisories have been hoisted for chills in dangerous the -25 to -35 range by tonight.
Widespread temperatures below -30 and even -40 are gripping central Saskatchewan near the arctic high pressure center Thursday morning.
The core of that coldest air will pass right over northeast Minnesota Friday morning. Look for temps colder than -30 in northeast Minnesota, near the usual suspects of Tower & Embarrass.
In the metro, Friday morning will be a great test of the Urban Heat Island (UHI). Some models are cranking out -23 to -29 at MSP Airport Friday morning.
-29 could happen, but my instinct says -20 to -22 are better numbers. If the UHI is strong, temperatures could easily hover near -15 at MSP Airport while it’s -25 in the outer suburbs Friday morning!
If we plunge to -25 in the metro, it would be the coldest air in about 15 years. A quick check of records shows that last time temperature plunged to -25 in the Twin Cities was February 2, 1996.
An Alberta Clipper will follow right on the heels of the arctic cold Friday. Snow will spread from west to east, and could arrive in the metro later Friday morning and continue through the PM. The system should be mostly light, with snow totals around an inch or less in most locations.
Cold won’t last:
Temperatures will moderate quickly above zero this weekend, and a bigger warm up moves in next week. Temperatures may push 30 to 32 degrees by next Tuesday or Wednesday!
No big snows in sight:
As I posted yesterday, it looks like a persistent northwest flow will keep the big snow at bay for a week or two. We may have actually broken the back of our “megasnow” pattern for a while.
Stay warm, and endure our (thankfully) brief arctic invasion!