Dangerous wind chills Thursday make Minnesota the icebox of the nation

The earlier sunrises and the later sunsets are the most positive things I can offer on a day when wind chill readings are bitterly cold.

Wind chill advisories and warnings continue today over much of the northern tier of the country, extending from the Dakotas to western New York State.

Some of the coldest air temperatures are being reported in Minnesota at  sunrise. Some air temperatures from the state at 7 a.m.: 35 below at Crane Lake, 29 below at Hallock and International Falls, 26 below at Staples and 14 below at Eden Prairie and Rochester.

Enhanced IR satellite image with the blue shading depicting temperatures of about 25 below zero. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Unisys weather

Often the return of the cold is an indication of cold cloud tops. Over our neck of the woods it is likely returning the cold skin temperature of the Earth’s landscape.

Temperatures will slowly recover today, but afternoon highs are likely to top out about 30 degrees shy of the normal. The normal high for International Falls for Feb. 27 is 27 degrees.

A nudge of less cold air will start to push into southwest Minnesota overnight.  This is likely to form clouds and snow flakes over south central Minnesota on Friday. Temperatures are likely to climb a few degrees higher on Friday.

Snowfall may accumulate a couple of inches in southeast Minnesota and increase to as much as 4 inches in southwest Wisconsin Friday afternoon.

This simulated radar reflectivity for noon on Friday indicates the heaviest snow likely south of the Twin Cities. The lighter green color shows where the heaviest snow could be falling.

Simulated radar reflectivity from North American model at noon Friday. NOAA/College of DuPage Weather Prediction Center forecast of probability of snowfall of 2 inches on Friday. NOAA


The jet stream driving the bitter arctic air south was nicely indicated on this graphic of the jet stream from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts from last evening.

European Model analysis of the jet stream at 6 p.m Wednesday. College of DuPage

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Global Forecast System model shows the jet stream becoming more west than northerly next Wednesday.  Milder temperatures are seen by the middle of next week.

Global Forecast System model jet stream next Thursday. College of DuPage

Forecast highs for next Thursday:

National Weather Service forecast highs for next Thursday.

Another weather maker could lay down more snow in southern Minnesota on Saturday. Here’s an early outlook for accumulating snow from the Weather Prediction Center.

Small probability of 4 inches of snow on Saturday. NOAA Weather Prediction Center
  • Craig Edwards

    in the radar reflectivity image for noon on Friday, the lighter color green would be where the heaviest snow could be falling. This is a forecast. We’ll see how this might change later today.