Blizzard warnings expand; heart of winter next 2 weeks

The Twin Cities National Weather Service has expanded blizzard warning coverage across Minnesota.

The latest additions bring the blizzard warnings to just west of the Twin Cities area.

URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
National Weather Service Twin Cities/Chanhassen MN
303 PM CST Wed Jan 23 2019

…GROUND BLIZZARD POSSIBLE TONIGHT THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING…

.A Blizzard Warning is in effect for western and southern Minnesota
tonight through Thursday morning, with very dangerous travel
conditions expected to develop overnight. Strong northwest winds
with gusts of 35 to 45 mph will develop behind an arctic front
late tonight across western Minnesota, moving through southern
Minnesota as the morning progresses. With a deep snowpack in place
and a few inches of recently fallen snow, widespread blowing snow
with whiteout conditions appears likely across portions of western
and southern Minnesota.

Further east into central and southeastern Minnesota, winds are
forecast to be lighter with less fresh snow to potentially blow
around. A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect for these areas
Thursday, where blowing snow may lead to limited visibility and
hazardous travel conditions.

In addition to blowing snow, the gusty winds and plummeting
temperatures will result in dangerous wind chill values of -25
to -30 degrees developing through the day on Thursday, and
continuing through Friday morning.

Snow in motion

Here’s a great time-lapse of how snow on the ground that seems stationary actually moves with the wind. Snow waves or dunes are in motion here. Snow in western Minnesota will be airborne late tonight!

Subzero air mass

We hit minus 5 Sunday morning at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. That’s the coldest reading so far this winter.

We bottom out Friday morning with temperatures in the minus 10 to minus 15 range around the Twin Cities and southern Minnesota.

Friday looks like the coldest morning so far this winter. I expect to see some numbers between minus 30 and minus 40 up north Friday morning.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecast low temperatures Friday morning.

Colder next week?

Next week’s arctic adventure looks a few degrees colder than this week’s event. The next two weeks will likely be the most sustained brand of cold we see this winter. We may enjoy 7 or 8 subzero mornings in the Twin Cities over the next two weeks.

NOAA, via Weather Bell

Polar vortex territory

It’s clear from the upper-air pattern that we’re in polar vortex territory in the coming weeks.

Stay warm and stay tuned.