-10 F. at 9 am Thursday, as cold in the Twin Cities as Barrow, Alaska
26 F. high temperature on Wednesday in the Twin Cities.
23 F. average high on January 18.
19 F. high temperature a year ago, on January 18, 2011.
-34 F. this morning's record low at MSP (1970).
* Tied record for the latest subzero temperatures in the Twin Cities. Old record was January 18, 2002. The mercury fell below zero ONE HOUR before midnight last night!
-30 F. wind chills this morning will dip into the -25 to -30 range in the metro, as cold as -40 over western Minnesota.
March 2, 2011: last time the mercury dipped below zero in the metro (-3 F.)
1-3" powdery snow Friday (best chance of 3" south metro). With temperatures in single digits I'm expecting a fluffy, powdery snow, quick to accumulate, capable of turning into black ice. Roads may be in tough shape for a time Friday.
20s return by Sunday and Monday, highs close to 30 the latter half of next week. 40 F. is not out of the question by the last weekend of January, the 28th and 29th.
Coldest Of Winter?
This is why we don't have a population of 10 million. Most Americans live in mortal fear of waking up to a morning like this. "So cold body parts start falling off, right"? Yep. That's why we have world-class health care. "Really?" Uh huh. Trust me. I'm a weatherman.
We've been through this drill before. Welcome to the 1st subzero morning of winter, and a record-breaking one at that. We set a record for the latest subzero on record in the metro. A stinging breeze will make it feel like -25 at the bus stop. Dress in layers - don't forget a hat. Keep those body parts intact. Only 2 days of pain. We'll get though this...
A peculiarly persistent Pacific wind flow aloft is responsible for our ongoing snow drought. Weather models have (consistently) overestimated snowfall amounts this winter. With that caveat I'm mentioning a potential for 1-3" snow tomorrow; it may be enough to plow in parts of the metro, especially south of the Minnesota River.
Temperatures blip upward over the weekend with 20s by Sunday (which will feel amazingly good). Long-range models bring the mercury close to freezing by the end of next week; another ill- timed January thaw. I fear Volcanis may get the last laugh at the St. Paul Winter Carnival next week.
My hunch: we're waking up to the coldest morning of winter, the "Relatively Easy Winter of '12".