Falling temperatures Friday lead into a bitter cold holiday weekend

Minnesota sees another round of light snow Friday

Behind a cold front bringing in artic air, most of Minnesota will spend all of Saturday with temperatures below zero. Dangerously cold windchills will range from minus 20 to minus 50 during the weekend mornings.

Friday’s forecast

The slightly milder weather of Thursday is already turning colder as of Friday morning, as almost all of the state now sits on the frigid side of a cold front that moved through overnight.

The front has cleared all but the southeastern tip of the state as of 8:30 a.m. For that area, there are still a few 20s, but in northwestern Minnesota, where the colder air moved in first, there are already a few negative 20s.

Because of the colder air now funneling across the state, temperatures will budge little during the day and will even fall a couple degrees by the afternoon in most places. Afternoon temperatures will range from negative teens northwest to the lower teens (above zero) in the Twin Cities and southeastern Minnesota.

weather graphic
Friday afternoon temperatures
National Weather Service

There is also a very light dusting of snow behind the front in south-central Minnesota.

As of 8:30 a.m., there are already a few light snow showers and flurries in an area from southwestern Minnesota to about Mora. There are also a few light snow showers in northern Minnesota Friday morning.

Snow will become more persistent in that general area through the morning and continue in the afternoon. Measurable snowfall could expand as far north as Brainerd and Duluth and south to about Mankato, but most of the snowfall, including for the Twin Cities, is forecast to be under an inch.

weather graphic
Forecast snowfall Friday
National Weather Service

However, right in the middle of the snow band, including St. Cloud, there could be a few totals up toward 3 inches.

Dangerous cold

By Friday evening, the snow is over, skies clear, and that is when temperatures really begin to plummet. All of Minnesota will be below zero by Saturday morning, and the northwestern third of the state is expected to near 30 below.

Even though overnight winds will not be particularly gusty, there will be enough of a breeze to add a windchill factor to the already arctic temperatures. This makes it feel like at least 20 below for all of Minnesota ranging to as life-threatening cold as minus 50 northwest.

Because of these dangerous conditions, all of Minnesota except for a couple southeastern counties are under windchill advisories or warnings beginning Friday evening through noon Saturday.

Even after the most dangerous of the cold Saturday morning, the entire state is likely to remain below zero all of New Years Day, putting highs 15 to 25 degrees below average.

Air temperatures Sunday morning will be even a couple degrees colder than Saturday for most of the state, with much of the state over 20 below, and negative teens south.

weather graphic
Sunday morning temperatures
National Weather Service

However, winds may be slightly less. Windchills are still expected to be in the dangerous range of 20 to over 40 below Sunday morning though, so additional windchill warnings and advisories are probable Saturday evening into Sunday morning.

Despite the glacial start, southerly winds return Sunday, returning the state above zero by the afternoon. Monday and Tuesday turn even milder, with temperatures finally back to more seasonable temperatures.

Here is that forecast for the Twin Cities showing the big plummet, then the return to “normal” January cold:

weather graphic
Twin Cities temperatures through Tuesday
National Weather Service

Programming Note

You can hear my live weather updates on Minnesota Public Radio at 7:49 a.m. Monday through Friday morning.

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