Blizzard warnings return, next arctic assault surges south

Winter hangs tough

We’re getting our money’s worth in the winter of 2013-14.

The next wave of arctic air is surging south today. Gusty northwest winds from 20 to 45 mph are picking up the loose chicken feather snowflakes that fell last night and driving them airborne. The result? More blizzard and wind chill warnings.

Here’s the latest batch of red and blue on the weather maps today.

Twin Cities National Weather Service

The National Weather Service put the pictures into words this morning:

URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TWIN CITIES/CHANHASSEN MN
410 AM CST WED JAN 22 2014

…BLOWING SNOW CAUSING BLIZZARD CONDITIONS ACROSS WEST CENTRAL MINNESOTA TODAY…

A BLIZZARD WARNING HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR MUCH OF WEST CENTRAL MINNESOTA TODAY. THE WARNING IS ALONG AND WEST OF A LINE FROM ALEXANDRIA TO WILLMAR TO NEW ULM. NORTHWEST WINDS WILL INCREASE TO 20 TO 40 MPH ACROSS WESTERN MINNESOTA THIS MORNING. THE WIND COUPLED WITH THE FLUFFY SNOW THAT FELL ON TUESDAY WILL LEAD TO WIDESPREAD BLOWING SNOW AND NEAR ZERO VISIBILITY.

A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IS IN EFFECT FOR TODAY ACROSS THE REMAINDER OF WESTERN MINNESOTA AS WELL AS SOUTH CENTRAL MINNESOTA. BLOWING SNOW WILL OCCUR IN THESE AREAS ALONG WITH WHITEOUT CONDITIONS FROM TIME TO TIME.

A WIND CHILL ADVISORY HAS BEEN ISSUED FOR ALL OF CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN MINNESOTA…AS WELL AS WEST CENTRAL WISCONSIN FOR TONIGHT AND THURSDAY MORNING. WIND CHILLS WILL BE FROM 25 BELOW TO 35 BELOW ZERO.

Ground zero: Red River Valley (again)

Who would invent such a piece of geography? A broad, flat windswept valley where fluffy snowfall is swept airborne in bitter wind gusting straight from the Arctic Circle? Instant “ground blizzards” with visibility dropping to near zero and dangerous wind chills to -45 degrees?

Welcome to Fargo, and Grand Forks, N.D., and Crookston, Minn.

The latest round of blizzard warnings includes Minnesota’s Detroit Lakes, Fergus Falls, Morris, Willmar and Redwood Falls.

NOAA

Nordic rerun

The dangerous wind chills are back today and tonight. The combination of sub-zero temps and winds to 45 mph will drive wind chills to -40 in some areas. Here’s a look at a bitter wind chill map for late today.

NOAA

We’re used to this in winter in Minnesota. But I am reminded that there are some who are new to this, and may be spending your first winter in our fair state. Give this weather some respect by covering up, and keep an eye on the kids. Here’s a look at wind chill, and how quickly frostbite can occur in these conditions.

Wind Chill Chart

Coldest morning of the week ahead?

The next arctic high pressure cell settle in over the region Thursday morning. The combination of clear skies and lighter winds should produce the coldest morning of the week Thursday.

NOAA

Friday warm up

Looking for a great day to get out and enjoy some fresh snow cover? Friday is your day. Temps warm to near 30 degrees by afternoon, before tumbling back downward on the next cold front Saturday.

Weatherspark

The next clipper Friday should bring another shot of snow. Early indications support a general 2 to 4 inch range Friday afternoon and evening, but it’s too early to be totally confident about timing and totals.

Iowa State University

Here’s a wider look at potential snowfall distribution through Sunday.

GFS snowfall output via wxcaster.com

Winter hangs on

It’s no surprise that it’s cold in January in Minnesota. But this winter does show signs of stamina and persistence. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Global Forecast System model keeps colder than average air in place through the end of January. Here’s a look from Climate Reanalyzer.

Climate Reanalyzer

Hang in there!

  • Jake R

    Hi Paul,
    I love the blog, have been reading for a couple years now, and checking the blog is a regular part of my day! Thanks for putting in the time and effort to update regularly!
    You have mentioned multiple times recently the stubborn weather pattern that North America is stuck in – Western ridge and Eastern / Northeastern trough. It seems like we’ve been in this pattern since early December, with very few breaks. Is this a fairly standard winter weather pattern? Or is it unusually persistent this winter? Also, what will it take to break this stubborn pattern?

    Thanks!