Key Weather Messages Heading Into The Holiday Weekend

  • Winds continue to ramp up Thursday Night into Friday with numerous gusts of 35-50 mph, causing whiteout conditions.
  • Road closures were already happening in southern Minnesota as of Thursday evening.
  • Blizzard Warnings in place across parts of central/southern Minnesota.
  • Saturday and Sunday will be the better days for travel through Christmas, though Saturday will still be breezy.
  • Cold weather sticks around through the holiday weekend. Wind chills of -40F or below possible in western Minnesota, and around -30F in the metro.


Snow Totals From Wednesday

Snow totals up to 8.5" were reported from Wednesday's snowfall in the metro area, with that top total occurring in Green Isle. We also saw a total of 8.3" in Ham Lake, 8.1" at MSP and in Robbinsdale and Ramsey, and 8" in Lakeville. At MSP Airport, 7.4" of that fell on Wednesday (the rest technically fell on Thursday), which set a new record for Wednesday. The previous record for December 21st was 5.3" in 1920.


Roads Already Closing As Of Thursday Evening

As of posting time, no travel advisories were in place across a good portion of south-central and southwestern Minnesota, and MNDOT was closing parts of I-90 and Highway 60.


Strong Winds Continue Friday, Bringing Whiteout Conditions

While we have pushed the snow out of the region (for the most part), phase two is underway: the whiteout/blizzard portion of this storm. Wind gusts of at least 40 mph can be expected across a good portion of the state Thursday Night into Friday, with some areas of the North Shore and southern Minnesota seeing wind gusts approaching 50 mph. Travel will be hazardous as we head through the next day or so across the region due to ground blizzards.

While it'll be in the single digits and teens below zero as we wake up Friday morning across the state, it'll feel more like the -30s and -40s out there with the expected strong winds.

If you want above zero weather, you'll have to head up to Grand Marais and portions of the North Shore - though there you will get into some snowfall and the potential of 50-60 mph wind gusts. The rest of the state, under a mix of sun and clouds, will stay below zero for highs on Friday.

Another absolutely frigid day is ahead in the Twin Cities on Friday with a mix of sun and clouds. Highs will try - but not likely succeed - to make it above zero. Wind gusts are likely to be up around 40 mph throughout the day.

When you factor in the strong winds here in the metro, gusting upward of 40-45 mph, it'll feel like the -20s and -30s throughout the day Friday. Wind chills in the -20s and -30s can continue to be expected for the lowest wind chills both Saturday and Sunday, though on Sunday we should start to see them improve during the day as winds die down a little bit.


Frigid, Sunny, Breezy Christmas Eve

No snow will be falling from the sky Saturday across the state as we will continue to see quite chilly weather and mainly sunny skies. Unfortunately with temperatures still this cold road conditions could be a little slick and tricky. Breezy winds will also continue to be in place - out of the west-northwest gusting to 35 mph.


Chilly Christmas Outlook

Ready for a chilly Christmas Day Sunday? Clouds will be on the increase throughout the day across the state ahead of a clipper system that'll slide in some light snow into the overnight hours. Highs will only be in the single digits on either side of negative across the state.


Warmer Next Week

The good news is that we will see warmer weather return as we head into next week across the Twin Cities, with highs back into the 20s by Tuesday and 30s for the second half of the week. It definitely looks like a warmer New Year's Eve and start to 2023 than it will be for Christmas.


Ground Blizzards Today - Thaw Next Week
By Paul Douglas

Welcome to "Survivor: Minnesota Edition". If you survive - you're a winner! Some days I wonder if early settlers at Fort Snelling in the 1830s complained about the bitter cold. Or were they stoic and accepting, grateful for a harvest generous enough to sustain them through anything?

This polar punch is bringing the coldest December air in 5 years. Yesterday's subzero high at MSP was the first subzero December day since 2017. I'm not getting hearing "Paul, why are storms going to our north and south and east..?" feedback. The Twin Cities have picked up 32" of snow so far this winter, more than twice the normal amount, to date. Did I mention Christmas will be white this year?

A tight pressure gradient with an intensifying "bomb cyclone" (how the media loves weather acronyms) will turn on peak gusts as high as 40-50 mph today, with more ground blizzards, white-outs and dangerous wind chills.

A Christmas Clipper may drop 1-2" Sunday night but next week will bring a puff of Pacific air. 30s will feel amazing!


Paul's Extended Twin Cities Forecast

FRIDAY: Ground-blizzards. Bitter. Wake up -8. High 0. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind NW 20-45 mph.

SATURDAY: Sunny and windy. Wake up -6. High 3. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind NW 15-30 mph.

SUNDAY: Clouds increase, 1-2" snow at night. Wake up -7. High 6. Chance of precipitation 70%. Wind SW 5-10 mph.

MONDAY: Early flakes, then clearing. Wake up 1. High 10. Chance of precipitation 30%. Wind NE 10-15 mph.

TUESDAY: Some sun, feels a bit better. Wake up -2. High 22. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind SE 8-13 mph.

WEDNESDAY: Breezy. I can feel my toes again! Wake up 21. High 33. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind S 10-20 mph.

THURSDAY: Partly sunny and cooler. Wake up 24. High 28. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind NW 8-13 mph.


Minneapolis Weather Almanac And Sun Data
December 23rd

*Length Of Day: 8 hours, 46 minutes, and 19 seconds
*Daylight GAINED Since Yesterday: 6 seconds

*When do we see 9 Hours of Daylight?: January 9th (9 hours, 0 minutes, 8 seconds)
*Latest Sunrise: December 30th-January 5th (7:51 AM)
*When is Sunset at/after 5 PM?: January 17th (5:00 PM)


This Day in Weather History
December 23rd

1996: Heavy snow accumulates across much of southern and central Minnesota. Snowfall totals included 6 to 8 inches across the Twin Cities metro area, 10 inches in Jordan, 8 inches at Cambridge, Forest Lake, Hutchinson and Montevideo, and 6 inches at St. Cloud, Glenwood and Redwood Falls.

1983: The Twin Cities experience a bitterly cold high of 17 degrees below zero.

1833: A 'warm spell' is reported at Ft. Snelling. The temperature reached 45 degrees.


National Weather Forecast

The powerful system across the Great Lakes will continue on Friday, bringing heavy snow to the region and high winds from the Upper Midwest to the Northeast. Another system in the Northwest will bring rain, snow, and ice concerns.

Several feet of snow is expected to accumulate the next few days in the Great Lakes, especially in the snowbelts down wind. Heavy rainfall (1-3") will be possible in the warm sector of the storm in the Northeast and along the Northwest coast. Meanwhile, snow and ice will be possible in the Northwest.

With this powerful system, cold air will continue to spread south and east across the eastern two-thirds of the nation over the next few days.

  • This could cause flash freeze conditions as the cold air sweeps in along with precipitation. It'll also cause the potential for frozen pipes in the southern United States.
  • Across the Upper Midwest, some locations may not make it out of the negative teens for highs. If motorists become stranded, or power is knocked out due to snow/wind, these temperatures and wind chills will lead to life-threatening weather.

Along with the cold temperatures, those strong winds will cause dangerous wind chills. Both Friday morning and Saturday morning, wind chills could dip below zero across portions of the Southern Plains and the Deep South. Meanwhile, wind chills in portions of the upper Midwest could be in the -50s in the morning hours.

Meanwhile, we are tracking another system that'll move into the Pacific Northwest into Friday, bringing the threat of snow and ice to the region - including in Seattle and Portland. Significant icing could fall around the Portland area, where at least a quarter to a half an inch of ice is possible. The greatest icing threat in Portland will be tonight into Friday. Snow and ice will greatly impact travel across the region and could cause power outages.


How cold is it about to get? Iguanas may fall from trees in Florida.

More from the Washington Post: "Watch out for falling iguanas in South Florida this Christmas. Seriously. This week, a massive storm system is forecast to bring blizzard conditions, wind chills and Arctic cold to the Lower 48. Nearly 70 million people are under winter storm watches or warnings in the Midwest, Great Lakes and Appalachians, while 90 million are under wind chill alerts. The frigid air is also expected to immobilize coldblooded animals. Iguanas sleeping in trees may lose their grip and drop to the ground. Sea turtles may stun and blow ashore from Texas to New England."

Google pulls out of deal to build $600M data center in Becker

More from the Star Tribune: "Google has backed out of plans to build a $600 million data center in Becker, a blow to the city as well as Sherburne County and Xcel Energy. The data center, announced in January 2019, was heralded as one of the largest construction projects in recent state history and as a regional economic balm. Google also would have become one of Xcel's five largest customers. But Google's affiliate, Honeycrisp Power, did not provide Xcel with a notice to proceed with the project by a recent deadline, Xcel said in a filing with Minnesota utility regulators. So, Minneapolis-based Xcel terminated its electric service agreements with Google on Dec. 8."

'We're Not There Yet': The Booming Electric Car Market Still Has A Long Road Ahead Of It

More from Forbes: "U.S. drivers bought electric cars and trucks at a record rate in 2022, heralding double-digit growth in 2023 as major automakers and startups roll out eye-catching new models. But high sticker prices, costly batteries and lingering concerns about charging infrastructure will continue to constrain growth—particularly outside of California. Sales of EVs are projected to be about 800,000 units in 2022, accounting for more than 5% of the overall market, according to Cox Automotive. Plans for new models and production facilities, including tens of billions of dollars being poured into new plants to make batteries for companies including General Motors, Ford and Hyundai mean the segment could grow by about 20% next year and hit the one million-unit level, reaching as much as 8% of total U.S. volume, according to Cox. It's an impressive figure, but it also means that gasoline-powered autos will still account for more than 90% of sales."


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Thanks for checking in and have a great day!

- D.J. Kayser