MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) –- It is not often that the WCCO Weather Watcher is flashing blue. That means it’s not only cold in Minnesota – it’s dangerously cold, and it’s going to stay that way.
The wind chill warning issued by the National Weather Service for all of Minnesota will continue through Thursday morning.
WCCO Meteorologist Chris Shaffer say it hasn’t been this cold in exactly 15 years — Jan. 30. 2004 — and overnight lows in the Twin Cities are on track to set a new daily record.
Temperatures are in the minus-20s throughout the state Tuesday night, but with the double-digit wind speeds it’s feeling 30- to 40-degrees colder. Wind chills will range between 55 below zero and 65 below zero overnight.
In such bitter cold, frostbite can set in on exposed skin in as quick as five minutes. As such, those who venture outside should be sure to bundle up and limit their time outside.
The last time the term “polar vortex” was thrown around a lot in Minnesota was in 2014, when we had 19 days below zero in January. This time around, we’ve only had 10 in 2019 — but both years we had three full days below zero. In 2014, the coldest back-to-back days were 20 below and 23 below, respectively. We’ve topped that in 2019, with below 24 and below 30 on back-to-back days.
Hundreds of schools, including the largest districts in the Twin Cities and the University of Minnesota, have cancelled classes through Wednesday.
Air temperatures early Wednesday morning in the metro will bottom out around 28 below zero. The record low for the day is 30 below, which was set back in 1887.
In northwestern Minnesota, some areas could see air temperatures Wednesday morning around 40 below zero. However, no city looks to break the record for the coldest air temperature ever recorded in Minnesota: 60 below zero in Tower, in northeastern Minnesota, on Feb. 2, 1996.
The dangerously cold wind chills look to last through Thursday morning. After that, however, temperatures will rise quickly.
Friday’s high temperatures will be above zero, and Saturday is expected to be in the high 30s.