It will be the week that Minnesotans remember this winter.
A major polar vortex outbreak will likely hit Minnesota and much of the eastern U.S. next week. The massive upper-air low-pressure system is forecast to drive bitterly cold arctic air deep into the continent next week.
Yes, it’s cold out there now. But this will feel like a walk in the park compared to next week. Temperatures next Tuesday through Thursday could run 20 to 50 degrees colder than average across the Midwest and Great Lakes.
There is increasing confidence in significant, bitterly cold air arriving in the Northern Plains, Midwest and Great Lakes in the middle of next week. The cold should last for several days, with wind chills well below zero in some areas. Graphics show Wednesday forecast. pic.twitter.com/agZ9uqu2D4
— NWS WPC (@NWSWPC) January 24, 2019
20s below for MSP?
Models from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Global Forecast System and the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts are cranking out temperatures colder than 20 below for the Twin Cities next Wednesday and Thursday morning.
Some models suggest temperatures will not rise above zero Monday night until Friday afternoon.
It’s getting harder to get to 20 below at Minneapolis−Saint Paul International Airport. But the magnitude of this inbound air mass seems to have the capability to make a serious run at 20 below for the Twin Cities.
Sunday night snow
A low-pressure system Sunday into Monday favors heavy snow from southwestern Minnesota into northern Iowa. Current forecast models storm tracks keep the Twin Cities on the northeast edge of the snow shield.
With plenty of arctic air in place, this looks like a very efficient snow maker. Snow to water ratios could go to 15:1 or even 20:1 in some areas.
That means snow could pile up quickly in southern Minnesota. Snowfall totals from 6 inches to a foot or more seem quite possible in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa.
Stay tuned for possible track changes.