Ground blizzard later today; dangerously cold wind chills

The arctic blast retreated slightly into Wisconsin overnight, but the wind chill readings continue to be bitterly cold.  Some run-up on the thermometer is expected today, but the stiff winds will drive the cold to the bone.

Winds from the southwest will shift to the west and northwest as another invasion of arctic air dives south through the state today.

Ground blizzard (snow already on the ground being whipped up by strong winds) conditions are likely later today and tonight  in parts of central and southern Minnesota.  Blowing and drifting snow will reduce visibilities to a quarter mile or less at times, particularly in rural areas.

Track the latest advisories and statements from the National Weather Service.

Along with the blowing and drifting snow comes the bitter cold wind chill readings.  Wind gusts to more than 40 miles per hour are likely to lower wind chill readings to between 35 and 40 below zero.

Here’s the forecast of the wind gusts expected as the sun goes down.

Wind gust forecast valid at 6 p.m. National Weather Service

Here’s what southwest Minnesota will face:

While most of us sleep, the cold air will be invading on stiff northwest winds.

Surface pressure, winds and temperatures for midnight from the North American Model. NOAA/College of DuPage

When you head out on Thursday morning you’ll think it’s mid January in the upper Midwest. Very cold temperatures and wind chills will deliver a hard dose of winter reality.

Apparent temperatures/wind chills at 6 a.m. Thursday. National Weather Service

For those still interested in tracking the subzero readings in the Twin Cities, we are now up to 45.  Looking at the forecast, we have a good shot at reaching 49 for this winter season.

There are some changes in the overall weather pattern. Welcome wetness is about to arrive on the west coast. The forecast for precipitation for the next three days is quite generous in California.

threepcpn

I’m still tracking the possibility for a couple of inches of snow in southern Minnesota on Friday.  I’ll have more on that this afternoon.

Here’s a look at your high temperatures forecast for Sunday.  You’ll be ready to venture out to celebrate the later sunsets.

nmwsnathighssun

  • VictorThompson

    “Looking at the forecast, we have a good shot at reaching 49 for this winter season.”

    Don’t you mean 47, seeing as how February only has 28 days?

  • Craig Edwards

    There is the astronomical winter, the winter season and the meteorological winter. I’ll have to check with the NWS, but I believe their tracking of the sub zero temperatures is through the winter season, not the meteorological winter, that you correctly noted ends February 28th.

  • Craig Edwards

    From the National Weather Service observation program leader:Yes, we are going to count all of the sub zero lows that occur this winter in our “sub zero tracker”, whether or not they happen in Dec-Feb. Just like we would continue to count snow that happens outside of meteorological winter!

    We will also provide seasonal (Dec-Feb) stats in our web headline after March 1st, so he’ll have both numbers available.