Winter kicks in: First sub zero ahead; Snow chances increasing

Extreme Cold Watch issued for North Dakota and northwest Minnesota

-30 to -45 wind chills in North Dakota by morning

-25 to -36 actual air temp in Manitoba & Saskatchewan this morning!

-20 to -25 below in northern Minnesota by Thursday morning

Near 0 in the metro overnight tonight

-6 GFS model forecast for the metro Thursday morning (January 19th)

January 18th latest sub-zero temp on record at MSP (2002)

January 19th, 21st, 27th, February 1st, & 2nd all potential sub-zero lows in the metro according to latest GFS run

Major snowfall potential next Tuesday?

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MNDOT cams show even a light snowy coating presented problems this morning.

Snowy near miss:

The metro got off relatively lucky this morning as the bulk of accumulating snow slid just south in the overnight hours.

A light coating of snow was still enough to slick up streets and freeways around the metro.

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Snowy coating at Williston Road & Highway 7 this morning.

The bulk of accumulating snow slid south from Mankato to Waseca and Rochester, where a slippery 1″ to 2″ fell.

Cold posied to attack:

The season’s coldest air is poised in Canada and ready to attack Minnesota over the next 48 hours.

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We’ll get just a taste tonight as temps hover below zero in northern Minnesota. Then the mother lode of cold will surge south Thursday behind another micro clipper that could bring a snowy dusting Wednesday.

“Extreme” Cold:

I’ve been following this air mass all the way from Alaska, where it’s been -30 to -50 for weeks now. This seriously cold air has spilled over the Canadian Rockies, and it hit -36 in Saskatoon this morning! That sounds like a long way off on the road map…it’s not very far on the weather maps.

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The core of that bitter arctic air will nose into Minnesota Thursday morning.

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The Grand Forks NWS is the first to trot out the new “Extreme Cold” watch products this morning. Remember? It’s the new version of the “Wind Chill” watch & warning products.

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INCLUDING THE CITIES OF…CROOKSTON…EAST GRAND FORKS…

HALSTAD…MOORHEAD…HALLOCK…ROSEAU…BAUDETTE…WARREN…

NEWFOLDEN…RED LAKE…THIEF RIVER FALLS…RED LAKE FALLS…

FOSSTON…BAGLEY…BEMIDJI…MAHNOMEN…LAKE ITASCA…

PARK RAPIDS…DETROIT LAKES…WOLF LAKE…BRECKENRIDGE…

FERGUS FALLS…NEW YORK MILLS…WADENA…ELBOW LAKE…CAVALIER…

GRAFTON…GRAND FORKS…COOPERSTOWN…FINLEY…MAYVILLE…

VALLEY CITY…FARGO…LISBON…GWINNER…WAHPETON

412 AM CST TUE JAN 17 2012

…EXTREME COLD WATCH IN EFFECT FROM WEDNESDAY EVENING THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN GRAND FORKS HAS ISSUED AN EXTREME

COLD WATCH…WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM WEDNESDAY EVENING THROUGH

THURSDAY MORNING.

* BITTERLY COLD TEMPERATURES WILL MOVE INTO THE AREA THROUGHOUT

WEDNESDAY NIGHT. WINDS WILL INCREASE INTO THE 10 TO 20 MPH RANGE

AND BRING DANGEROUS WIND CHILLS. WINDS WILL DECREASE AND

TEMPERATURES WILL BEGIN TO RECOVER BY MID DAY THURSDAY.

* TEMPERATURES ARE EXPECTED TO DROP DOWN INTO THE 15 TO 20 BELOW

RANGE OVERNIGHT. WIND CHILL VALUES MAY APPROACH THE 30 TO 45

BELOW RANGE.

* FROSTBITE CAN OCCUR WITHIN MINUTES.

The logic behind the change is that it’s still dangerously cold even if there is no wind to speak of. Feel any warmer yet?

Record latest first sub zero temps at MSP this week!

If we make it to midnight at MSP Airport without hitting zero (and it may be close!) we’ll at least tie the record for the latest sub-zero temp on record at MSP. If we are able to hold off zero tonight, it looks like a lock that we’ll plunge below zero by Thursday morning in the metro.

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That should set the record for the latest sub zero temps at MSP.

This will not be the first winter on record without sub-zero temps at MSP. Wishful thinking for some!

Snowy spells; with a major storm chance in sight

As the jest stream delivers cold air bursts in the next week, a series of weak to moderate low pressure systems will spin up over Minnesota. Each one will bring a chance of snow.

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The most promising this week appears to be Friday, when the GFS is cranking out .18″ of liquid which could translate into a couple inches of snow.

The bigger system looming on the horizon winds up and stalls right over Wisconsin next Tuesday according to the GFS. The GFS is spitting out .63″ of liquid (starting as rain changing to snow?) with this system for MSP as of today. At a 10:1 snow:rain ratio you can do the math…it could be our biggest snow so far this winter.

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It’s too early to bet the farm on a system a week out, but at least there’s hope for snow lovers!

Stay tuned…

Tornado season 2012; we have a winner!

Welcome to tornado season 2012!

The first tornado watch of 2012 was posted early Tuesday for parts of Missouri (including the St. Louis metro area) and Illinois. No tornadoes were sighted so far.

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PH

  • Matt

    Hi,

    What qualifies for a new sub-zero record. If the temp drops to -1F at 12:01am (technically the 19th) tomorrow night would that mean a new record was set?

    Thanks!