Coldest Christmas high temp since 1996; arctic chill lingers

The official temperature at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport had dropped to 5 degrees just before midnight Sunday night.

Colder air moved in after midnight, so it looks like 4 or 5 degrees will be the high temp that goes into the books for Christmas 2017 in the Twin Cities.

This will be our coldest official Christmas high temp in the Twin Cities since the high of -9 in 1996, according to the Minnesota State Climatology Office:

Minnesota State Climatology Office

Daytime high temperatures this Christmas will range from teens below zero in parts of northern Minnesota to the single digits above zero in far southern Minnesota.

Dangerous wind chills 

There will be enough wind to create dangerous wind chills in most of northern Minnesota from Christmas Day through noon on Tuesday.

Wind chill warnings continue for much of northern Minnesota until noon Tuesday:

NOAA/National Weather Service

Wind chills of -30 to -45 are expected in northern Minnesota, and exposed skin can get frostbite in as little as 10 minutes under those conditions.

Central Minnesota through southwestern Minnesota remain in a wind chill advisory from Christmas Day until noon Tuesday, for wind chill values of -20 to -35 degrees.

From the Twin Cities metro area through south-central and southeastern Minnesota, the wind chill advisory begins at 6 p.m. this Christmas, and runs until noon Tuesday. Wind chills from the metro area to the south and southeastward could be in the -15 to -25 range today, then in the -20 to -35 range Christmas evening through Tuesday morning.

Here are details of the metro area and south-central Minnesota portion of the wind chill advisory:

URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
National Weather Service Twin Cities/Chanhassen MN
647 AM CST Mon Dec 25 2017

…BITTERLY COLD WIND CHILLS FOR MUCH OF MINNESOTA AND WISCONSIN
THROUGH TUESDAY…

.Dangerously cold wind chills will build south across the area
today and persist through Tuesday. A Wind Chill Advisory is
currently in effect for central Minnesota, extending into west
central Wisconsin. This evening, the Wind Chill Advisory expands
south to reach the Iowa border in south central Minnesota. All of
the Wind Chill Advisories continue through the day Tuesday.

Expect wind chills to range from 20 below zero to 35 below zero
at times, with the coldest readings early Tuesday morning. Wind
chills in this range can cause frostbite in as little as
15 minutes. If outdoors, dress in layers, cover exposed skin and
do not wear any wet clothing. Make sure any outdoor animals have
warm shelter.

MNZ054-056>070-073>078-082>085-091>093-WIZ024-026-252100-
/O.CON.KMPX.WC.Y.0007.171226T0000Z-171226T1800Z/
Lac Qui Parle-Chippewa-Kandiyohi-Meeker-Wright-Hennepin-Anoka-
Ramsey-Washington-Yellow Medicine-Renville-McLeod-Sibley-Carver-
Scott-Dakota-Redwood-Brown-Nicollet-Le Sueur-Rice-Goodhue-
Watonwan-Blue Earth-Waseca-Steele-Martin-Faribault-Freeborn-
Pierce-Pepin-
Including the cities of Madison, Montevideo, Willmar, Litchfield,
Monticello, Minneapolis, Blaine, St Paul, Stillwater,
Granite Falls, Olivia, Hutchinson, Gaylord, Chaska, Shakopee,
Hastings, Redwood Falls, New Ulm, St Peter, Le Sueur, Faribault,
Red Wing, St James, Mankato, Waseca, Owatonna, Fairmont,
Blue Earth, Albert Lea, River Falls, Prescott, and Durand
647 AM CST Mon Dec 25 2017

…WIND CHILL ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 6 PM THIS EVENING
TO NOON CST TUESDAY…

* WHAT…Very cold wind chills expected. The cold wind chills will
cause frostbite in as little as 15 minutes to exposed skin.
Expect wind chills to range from 20 below zero to 35 below
zero.

* WHERE…Portions of west central Wisconsin and central, east
central, south central, southeast, southwest and west central
Minnesota.

* WHEN…From 6 PM this evening to noon CST Tuesday.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

A Wind Chill Advisory means that cold air and the wind will
combine to create low wind chills. Frost bite and hypothermia can
occur if precautions are not taken. Make sure you wear a hat and
gloves.

Arctic chill all week

Lows late Monday night into early Tuesday morning could range from the 20s below zero in much of northern Minnesota to the teens below zero in the south.

Tuesday highs will range from the teens below zero for much of the northern Minnesota to the negative single digits in central Minnesota to just slightly above zero in the far south.

Twin Cities metro area high temps are expected to poke just slightly above zero on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

Our “warmest” day this week in the Twin Cities should be Thursday, when we reach the lower teens.

Who had a white Christmas?

Most of Minnesota ended up with one inch or more of snow depth this Christmas morning:

The deepest snow cover is over about the northern third of Minnesota.

Some areas in far northern Minnesota have more than 10 inches of snow on the ground:

NOAA/NWS

Snowy Christmas in New England

It’s very cold across Minnesota, but we don’t have to deal with heavy snow as we travel this Christmas.

It’ll be a different story in New England:

Thursday snow chance

Most Minnesotans will have to wait until Wednesday night or Thursday for our next batch of measureable snow.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Global Forecast System model shows the potential snow pattern Wednesday night through Thursday evening:

NOAA GFS model precipitation rate from Wednesday evening through Thursday evening, via tropicaltidbits

The color chart to the right of the loop refers to the precipitation rate (mm per hour), not to the total amount of precipitation.

Check later forecasts for updates on our potential snow.

I hope that you have a great holiday season!