After a relatively mild start to the winter season on the calendar, Mother Nature is set to unload an Arctic wallop on the Wright County area in just one, crazy week.
Though temperatures have already dipped well below zero, the worst is yet to come, according to weather forecasts. Low temperatures are going to flirt with record-setting levels, with the low Tuesday, Jan. 29 forecast to be near 20 below. Combine that with an expected Alberta Clipper that will bring 20 to 30 mph wind gusts, and it could “feel like” more than 60 degrees below zero outside on Tuesday night.
“We are asking people to stay in, eliminate travel and take extreme caution,” a spokesperson for the National Weather Service Twin Cities in Chanhassen said, adding that the wind chill temperatures are as low as we’ve seen in the area since the late 1990s, when then-Governor Arne Carlson shut down state colleges, universities and schools.
The winter blast starts Sunday, Jan. 27 and into Monday, Jan. 28, as a winter storm is expected to drop down from Canada and drop several inches of powdery snow onto the region. Snow should start falling Sunday night and continue until about noon on Monday, creating a very challenging morning commute for drivers Monday morning.
Then, the Arctic air comes in. Monday could see winds whipping around that snow, with 30 mph gusts expected, creating drifting and low visiblity. Lows Monday night are set for about 10 below zero, but winds will make it feel like at least 30 below outside on Monday night.
Another shot of snow should fall Tuesday, when the high temperature – yes, high temperature, is 6 to 10 degrees below zero. Then, it’s an even colder night, with lows around 20 below and wind chill (or feels like) factors at 45 to 50 below thanks to wind speeds near 15 mph.
The St. Michael-Albertville School District released this statement on Sunday morning:
“The week ahead will have many winter weather challenges. It is still too early to make any decisions but with forecasted snow accumulations and dangerously low wind chills we anticipate late starts and/or cancellations. We are actively monitoring the weather by collaborating with neighboring school districts and communicating with NWS, Don’s Bus, St. Michael and Albertville Public Works, and our own school staff.
We take student and staff safety very seriously. Likewise, we know changes to the school schedule significantly impact families. We will keep families updated through social media, media outlets, robocalls, emails, and updates to our website. Stay warm and drive safe.”
Here’s the Winter Storm Warning information from the National Weather Service:
WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 3 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO NOON CST MONDAY… …WIND CHILL WATCH REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM TUESDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING… * WHAT: HEAVY SNOW EXPECTED. DANGEROUSLY COLD WIND CHILLS POSSIBLE. TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 5 TO 7 INCHES EXPECTED. WIND CHILLS AS LOW AS 55 BELOW ZERO LIKELY. * WHERE…PORTIONS OF CENTRAL AND EAST CENTRAL MINNESOTA. * WHEN…FOR THE WINTER STORM WARNING, FROM 3 PM THIS AFTERNOON TO NOON CST MONDAY. FOR THE WIND CHILL WATCH, FROM TUESDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING. * ADDITIONAL DETAILS…PLAN ON SLIPPERY ROAD CONDITIONS. PATCHY BLOWING SNOW COULD SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE VISIBILITY. THE HAZARDOUS CONDITIONS COULD IMPACT THE MORNING OR EVENING COMMUTE. THE DANGEROUSLY COLD WIND CHILLS COULD CAUSE FROSTBITE ON EXPOSED SKIN IN AS LITTLE AS 5 MINUTES. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS WILL MAKE TRAVEL VERY HAZARDOUS OR IMPOSSIBLE. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL, KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT, FOOD AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY. A WIND CHILL WATCH MEANS THERE IS THE POTENTIAL FOR A COMBINATION OF VERY COLD AIR AND THE WIND TO CREATE DANGEROUSLY LOW WIND CHILL VALUES. MONITOR THE LATEST FORECASTS AND WARNINGS FOR UPDATES ON THIS SITUATION. THE LATEST ROAD CONDITIONS FOR MINNESOTA CAN BE FOUND AT 511MN.ORG AND FOR WISCONSIN AT 511WI.GOV, OR BY CALLING 5 1 1 IN EITHER STATE. &&
…HEAVY SNOW AND BLOWING SNOW SUNDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH EARLY MONDAY… …DANGEROUS WIND CHILLS TUESDAY THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING… .ACCUMULATING SNOW WILL OCCUR ACROSS ALL OF CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN MINNESOTA INTO WESTERN WISCONSIN SUNDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH EARLY MONDAY MORNING. THE GREATEST SNOW ACCUMULATIONS WILL STRETCH FROM WEST CENTRAL MINNESOTA THROUGH THE TWIN CITIES METRO TO AROUND THE EAU CLAIRE AREA, WITH LESSER AMOUNTS TOWARDS NORTHERN MINNESOTA, SOUTHWESTERN MINNESOTA AND NORTHWESTERN WISCONSIN. THIS SYSTEM IS EXPECTED TO CAUSE SIGNIFICANT TRAVEL IMPACTS, ESPECIALLY SUNDAY NIGHT THROUGH THE MONDAY MORNING COMMUTE. WINTER STORM WARNINGS CONTINUE FOR ALL OF CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN MINNESOTA AND WESTERN WISCONSIN, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF A SMALL PORTION OF SOUTHWESTERN MINNESOTA SOUTH OF THE MINNESOTA RIVER. IN THESE AREAS, A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT. SNOWFALL AMOUNTS IN THE WARNING AREA CAN BE EXPECTED TO RANGE FROM 6 TO 8 INCHES. SNOWFALL AMOUNTS IN THE ADVISORY AREA CAN BE EXPECTED TO RANGE FROM 3 TO 6 INCHES. DANGEROUS WIND CHILLS OF 60 BELOW ZERO TO 35 BELOW ZERO ARE EXPECTED TUESDAY MORNING THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING IN WESTERN AND CENTRAL MINNESOTA. WIND CHILLS OF 35 BELOW ZERO AND LOWER ARE EXPECTED TUESDAY AFTERNOON THROUGH THURSDAY MORNING IN EAST CENTRAL MN AND WEST CENTRAL MINNESOTA.