Arctic blast poised to pounce; be prepared for brisk winds and cold

At noon it was about as tranquil as the weather will be in the next 36 hours.  In the midday sunshine, temperatures in  southern Minnesota were in the lower 40s.

Meanwhile a shot of bitterly cold air was just crossing the Canadian border. Warroad was 9 degrees at noon with a wind chill of 9 below zero.

Surface weather map at 11 a.m. CST. The temperature is the upper left had numeral. Image:Unisys weather

Click to enlarge. Notice the center of wind circulation around Willmar, Minn.

Snow and blowing snow will create hazardous travel in northwest Minnesota this afternoon.

The heaviest snowfall, accumulating two to three inches, is expected to occur later this afternoon and evening in northeast Minnesota. Heavy lake effect snow squalls are possible overnight on the south shore of Lake Superior.

Chanhassen NWS

This statement from the National Weather Service Chanhassen Office urges travelers to be cautious when taking to the highways after dark today.

URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN
1037 AM CST SAT DEC 28 2013

…BLIZZARD CONDITIONS DEVELOPING IN WEST CENTRAL MINNESOTA THIS AFTERNOON ALONG WITH DANGEROUS WIND CHILLS BY NIGHTFALL…

A POWERFUL ARCTIC COLD FRONT WILL MOVE THROUGH THE REGION LATER THIS AFTERNOON WITH NORTHWEST WINDS OF 30 TO 35 MPH…AND GUSTS 40 TO 45 MPH ALONG THE MINNESOTA RIVER VALLEY IN WESTERN MINNESOTA.
ALTHOUGH LITTLE SNOWFALL IS EXPECTED…THESE WINDS WILL PERSIST OVERNIGHT AND CAUSE BLOWING AND DRIFTING OF THE CURRENT SNOWPACK THAT IS IN PLACE. IN ADDITION…TEMPERATURES WILL PLUMMET OVERNIGHT…WITH WIND CHILLS OF 35 TO 40 BELOW ZERO BY SUNDAY MORNING.

You can track the developing weather with updates in winter weather warnings and advisories here.

By Sunday morning temperatures will have fallen nearly 50 degrees in western Minnesota. Dangerously cold wind chills are expected across much of the state.

 

Lacrosse cold

Wind Chill readings at 25 below zero are dangerous.

An Arctic air mass with high pressure will settle over Minnesota  Sunday and Sunday night.

Surface pressure and precipitation Sunday morning. Image:Weather Prediction Center

With relatively light winds and mostly clear skies on Sunday night and Monday morning the wind chill will ease but the air temperature will be very cold.

Low temperatures on Monday morning.

Hope you enjoyed the last two days of mild air in the Twin Cities. A wake up call greets you on Sunday morning.