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Searching for freezing; season's coldest air so far arrives next week

First 32 at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport by Friday morning?

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It’s that time of year in Minnesota.

Color-splashed treelines. Falling leaves dance in the wind. Thermometers searching for freezing.

The first official 32-degree temperature of fall could happen at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport on Thursday or Friday morning. Temperatures appear certain to dip below freezing next week. The long-term average date for the first 32-degree reading at the airport? — Oct. 11.

Tumbling temps

The overall temperature trend into next week is decidedly down. Temperatures briefly recover back into the 50s Friday and Saturday afternoon. But next week’s cold front will leave little doubt that it is late October in Minnesota.

Temperature forecast for Minneapolis
Temperature forecast for Minneapolis
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration via Weather Bell

Frosty Halloween

Next week’s upper air pattern favors a deep trof plunging cold air into the central U.S.

Upper air forecast map for 7 pm October 28
Upper air forecast map for 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 28.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

All signs still point toward a frosty Halloween in Minnesota. Highs in the 20s north and 30s south still appear likely. 

This looks like one of the colder Halloweens on record in Minnesota according to the Minnesota DNR Climate Working Group.

Halloween is typically a time of crunchy leaves on the ground, a bit of chill in the air, and lots of candy. High temperatures in the Twin Cities are generally in the 40s and 50s. It is more common for the daily high on Halloween to be in the 60s than in the 30s. 70s tend to be rare, with only eight Halloween high temperatures being 70 degrees or above or about one in eighteen years. The warmest Halloween on record was 83 degrees in 1950, with one of the coldest one year later with a high of 30 in 1951. The coldest Halloween maximum temperature was a bone-chilling 26 degrees back in 1873. The last twenty years have had some balmy Halloween afternoons with a 71 degrees in 2000, and some quite cool ones as well with 35 degrees for a high temperature in 2016. There hasn't been a Halloween washout since 1997.