It will be “out of the frying pan and into the freezer,” weather-wise, for the Twin Cities metro area and large swaths of western and west-central Minnesota by Tuesday morning, meteorologists at the National Weather Service said.
While you might not call 64-degree temperatures “the frying pan” in August, you probably would in December.
That was the high recorded in Rochester on Monday, breaking the previous record of 57 set on Dec. 4, 1941. It also was the highest temperature ever recorded there in meteorological winter — December, January and February — said meteorologist Ross Carlyon.
The Twin Cities also broke a temperature record with a reading of 57 degrees, one degree higher than in 1941. More records were broken across Wisconsin, as far east as Milwaukee.
But Tuesday’s weather will bring out the hats, gloves, scarves and all manner of winter coats. The high temperature in the Twin Cities was expected to be set at midnight with the thermometer falling into the teens by Tuesday’s morning commute and staying there throughout the day, Carlyon said. We could climb into the 20s by Wednesday.
“Compared to what we had, it’s going to stay pretty cold,” Carlyon said. “Back to normal. But we’ve been so far out of normal. It’s kind of cruel.”
By 7 p.m. Monday, it was snowing at the Weather Service office in Chanhassen. Rain elsewhere in the metro was expected to turn to snow in the ensuing hours before tapering off by 1 or 2 a.m. Tuesday. One to 3 inches was expected. The morning commute should be OK, said meteorologist Bill Borghoff.
The same 1 to 3 inches was expected in western and west-central Minnesota, but folks there were dealing with some serious wind gusts Monday evening. The cities of Willmar, Fergus Falls, Wheaton, Alexandria, Glenwood, Benson and others in that neck of the woods were seeing sustained winds of 25 to 30 miles per hour with gusts up to 35 to 40 mph and some at even 50 mph.
A winter storm warning was in effect in western Minnesota late Monday; the Dakotas were under a blizzard warning.
Meteorologists warned commuters to be aware of blowing and drifting snow and icy spots.