MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill warning for much of northern Minnesota extending from Wednesday morning through the weekend. During that period, wind chill factors could be as cold as 40 below zero, with frostbite able to set in on exposed skin in just 10 minutes.

(credit: CBS)

Starting just north of Moorhead, the warning area extends to the Canadian border and cuts eastward across the state, including Bemidji, Hibbing and areas just north of Duluth and the North Shore. Weather officials say that residents should avoid outdoor activities for the next few days, if possible. When venturing into the cold, proper clothing is a must.

South of the warning area, much of central and north-central Minnesota is under a wind chill advisory until noontime Sunday. This area includes Fergus Falls and Brainerd to the north and extends to Willmar and St. Cloud to the south. It does not include into the Twin Cities metro.

Wind chill factors in the advisory area could be as frigid as 30 degrees below zero. In those conditions, frostbite takes about 30 minutes to sink its teeth in exposed skin.

According to forecasters, the coldest period of this arctic blast will be the weekend, particularly Saturday night into Sunday morning. In the Twin Cities, the high temperature expected for Sunday (Valentine’s Day) is 3 below zero. The low that day? Minus 14 degrees. Overnight, factoring in wind chill, it’ll feel colder than 30 below zero.

When will it end? Relief from the bitter cold looks to be felt Tuesday, when temperatures are expected to reach 10 degrees in the Twin Cities with overnight lows hitting zero but not dipping below.