Whiplash: Arctic chill today, 40 degrees warmer Friday

Your backyard thermometer gets a good workout this week.

Temperatures plunged to -24 this morning in towns like Hallock in northwest Minnesota. The Twin Cities flirted with the zero mark for the first time in more than 3 weeks when we bottomed out below zero on January 13.

West Hennepin Mesonet

The proper chill you feel today is the tip of an icy air mass delivering sub-zero wind chills to the Upper Midwest.

Oklahoma Mesonet

36 more hours of Polar pain

Arctic high pressure lingers over Minnesota for another 36 hours. Temperatures will actually begin rising Thursday night into Friday morning as southwest winds return milder air into our region. A shot of light snow hits northern Minnesota Friday, while red dashed lines signify warmer Pacific air invading southern Minnesota.

NOAA GFS model via tropical tidbits.

Here’s a look at the air mass exchange over the next 48 hours. Watch as sub-zero temps get shoved bodily eastward, and mild Pacific air in the 30s spills across most of Minnesota by Friday.

NOAA 2-meter temps via tropical tidbits.

Warm pattern returns

After our brief Arctic interlude, the maps favor a return to warmer than average temperatures for the next 1-2 weeks. The upper air charts show another mild Pacific flow developing the weekend of Feb 18-19.


Temperatures in the 30s, with several days at or above 40 degrees are likely in the next two weeks. Starting Friday, temps run a good 10 to 15 degrees warmer than average for 1-2 weeks.

Custom Weather

The numbers confirm, winter remains a relative, fleeting concept in Minnesota this season.

Out like a lamb?

Our recent trend of milder, shorter winters looks likely to continue this season. NOAA’s longer range 3-4 week outlook favors milder than average air right into early March. Will the early bird golfers be out in mid-March this year?


Stay warm and stay tuned.

Precipitation changes in Minnesota

I’m looking forward to talking to Carver County watershed managers today about recent precipitation changes in Minnesota

Minnesota DNR


The event is open to the public, at the Chaska Event Center. If you’re curios how local watershed managers are dealing with Minnesota’s changing precipitation patterns I hope you can join us. Info below.




  • TGB

    I thought we were due for a colder than average winter, what factors account for this very warm winter? Do you envision this as the new norm for Minnesota?

    • MPR Weather

      TGB: Many forecasters called for a colder than average winter based on a potential La Nina event. I wasn’t buying that, see November 1st Updraft winter outlook post. Going forward it’s getting harder for natural cycles to overcome strong long term winter warming signal across Minnesota.

      • TGB

        I remember the Nov 1 post well, especially in terms of the outlook for skiing this year. Looks like your predictions were solid, nice work! I am sincerely grateful for your role in informing Minnesotans on important climate change issues from a neutral and scientific perspective. Please keep up the good work, we need people like you to help guide public dialogue for the sake of humanity(No pressure)! Are you going to attend the April 22 science gathering? Please do!