Arctic air departs; warmup on the way and sticking around

After yet another arctic blast Sunday and Monday, the cold is packing its bags for a bit. We’re also eying a potential snowfall Friday into Friday night. The odds of plowable snow are increasing.

Morning morning chill

It was a frigid one once again across Minnesota early Monday. Temperatures this go around, however, were not as brutal as Friday morning. The low at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport was a much more tolerable 9 below zero, versus minus 17 last week.

Monday morning’s very cold spot was Longville in north-central Minnesota with a reading of 31 below zero, but that was the only place that chilly. On Friday morning there were countless minus 30s in the northern parts of the state.

By Monday night, the cold air will be departing for an extended period.

The last couple of weeks the cold has just retreated barely across the Canadian border, but this time, it’s shifting toward the other side of the northern hemisphere much more. That means we won’t have the roller-coaster swings we had the last two weeks.

Temp Anomalies
Temperature anomalies (difference from normal) for Tuesday
College of DuPage

Highs Tuesday already will be around 30-plus degrees for the southern third of Minnesota with above-freezing readings in southwestern Minnesota. Northeastern Minnesota will linger on the cooler side with highs around 20.

We should see a similar breakdown through Friday of temperatures, with highs generally 30s in the southern portions of the state and 20s north.

Highs Tuesday
Highs Tuesday
National Weather Service

A quick clipper system will pass through the state Wednesday evening and overnight. There’s a possibility of a quick dusting to 1 inch on the high end in isolated locations across central Minnesota, including the Twin Cities.

The much more significant weather event this week looks to be a storm system brewing for Friday into Friday night. While it’s too early to throw around snow totals, somewhere in Minnesota and Wisconsin is likely to see plowable snow — something that’s been rare this month so far.

The cold pattern has kept storm tracks well to our south and east, bringing snow to places like Washington D.C., New York and Boston. With the return of warmer air, we are in the line of fire for more significant storm systems.

Friday Storm
Friday's storm system
College of DuPage Weather

There are some indications that our friend, the cold air, may return next week, although I don’t see temperatures anywhere like last week at this point. We’re likely in for more subzero nights however.

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