Snow for afternoon commute; Old Man Winter to land another blow

Actual air temperatures dropped to between 35 and 40 degrees below zero in northern Minnesota on Thursday morning. Thankfully, temperatures continued to rise through the day and overnight.

Babbitt, Minn., bottomed out at 40 below zero, with 36 below in International Falls, Minn., and 34 below in Orr, Minn., on Thursday morning.

Midwest Regional Climate Center

St. Cloud dropped down to -21 on Thursday morning, while the mercury dipped to -17 at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

A swath of snow was developing in central Minnesota this afternoon. This snow will race quickly through southeast Minnesota and Wisconsin depositing an inch or two.  Poor timing for afternoon commutes. Be prepared for slick spots, especially on lesser traveled roads.

Screen capture of snow at 2:30 p.m.

Snow cover is quite expansive and deep across northern Minnesota, northwest Wisconsin and upper Michigan.

Midwest Regional Climate Center

We are approaching the time of the season when hydrologists more closely monitor the water equivalent of the snow pack to assess spring flood potential. Plenty of winter lies ahead. Stay tuned with updates from the North Central River Forecast Center.

I took a core sample in my back yard this morning and the 12 inches of snowpack had 2.5 inches of water content.

Rain gauge of snow core taken this morning. Craig Edwards/MPR News

Saturday morning will bring a preview of the bitter cold as winds gust to 25 miles per hour. But this icy jolt is setting us up for another bout of snow and wallop of biting arctic air.

Wind direction and speed in knots at 6 a.m Saturday. Each long wind barb is 10 knots and the shorter one is 5 knots. National Weather Service

A knot is roughly 1.2 miles per hour.

Snowfall on Saturday night and Sunday is expected to move down the winter highway of Interstate 94. Snowfall totals of 2 to 4 inches are likely in the heaviest snow band.

Weather map for 6 p.m Saturday. NOAA/National Weather Service

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Weather Prediction Center forecasts the probability of 2 inches of snow.

NOAA/Weather Prediction Center National Weather Service La Crosse, Wis.

The upper Midwest will be in the core of the arctic blast on Monday and Tuesday.

National Weather Service

Advisories for dangerously cold wind chills will likely be posted once again for Sunday and Monday.

Wind chill readings will be in the 35 to 45 degrees below zero range Sunday night and Monday.

Apparent temperature forecast at midnight on Sunday. National Weather Service

A massive arctic high pressure dome of frigid air is forecast to be centered over the Northern Plains on Tuesday morning. Bitter cold will surge well south.