Arctic air oozes south

It’s here, right on schedule.

The week’s first taste of arctic air has invaded Minnesota as expected today.

Sfc temps.gif

Temperatures are colder than -20 in northwest Minnesota this morning, with wind chills in the -30s.


It looks like the coldest mornings of the week will be Wednesday and Friday.

Temps could reach -10 in the metro tomorrow morning, with -20s to -30 north. Friday could bring the season’s coldest air mass, with lows pushing -15 to -20 even in the urban core of metro. The GFS is cranking out a respectable -22 for MSP Airport Friday morning!

Coldest week of the year on average:

This is on average the coldest week of the year in Minnesota. The Twin Cities average high of 21 degrees and low of 3 degrees (above zero) sounds really good this week. Instead we’re dealing with -21 and colder in parts of Minnesota.

It takes about a month after the winter solstice for temperatures to bottom out in the northern hemisphere. Daylight slowly creeps back into the Arctic Circle in January, but the sun angle and intensity is just too low to start warming arctic air until February.

Our average temperatures start to rise later this week and next week. Increasing daylight and slightly more incoming solar radiation will boost temperatures over the next month.

Our coldest air masses of the year invade from the Arctic Circle this time of year.


Our average temps by February 20th? High of 30 & Low of 14. I know…it’s slow progress.

Milder next week: Here’s some positive thinking. After this week’s cold wave it looks like the cold will mercifully ease next week. In fact, temperatures may approach 30 above zero in the next two weeks.

Brighter days ahead:

Have you noticed how much brighter the days are? We’ve gained about 30 minutes of daylight in the evening in the past month. We’re now gaining about 2 minutes of daylight each day. Sunset is now after 5pm in the metro and the evenings are noticeably brighter on clear evenings.

Hang in there, it’s a sign that a seasonal warm up is closer than we might think during our January doldrums!

Stay warm, and be cool.


  • mike

    Do you have any thoughts on what the general weather trends might be in International Falls on January 31st? The Arrowhead 135 (bike, run, or ski with required gear from I-Falls to Fortune Bay Casino) starts that morning at 7am and racers have 60 hours to complete it. Weather/conditions are a big part of the race. -20 degrees every year it seems and it makes the skiing very slow. Hoping for a milder weather pattern this year. Any thoughts?

  • liz

    thanks for the upper about brighter days ahead.

  • Stacy

    Yes, I remember the Jolly Troll. Great image of how the weather was shaping up. Thanks!