Wednesday Night/Thursday Snowfall

Here's the results of our Wednesday Night and Thursday snowfall across the region (snow reports through about 5 PM Thursday). The highest totals in Minnesota were near Buffalo, Spencer Brook, and near Braham, where 6" was reported due to a heavier band that set up overnight/early Thursday morning. Through Noon, MSP had reported 2.1" of snow.


Get Ready For The Deep Freeze

Well, the winter cold is finally arriving here in the Upper Midwest as we head toward the weekend. Highs on Friday in the Twin Cities will only top off around 10F after starting off in the low to mid-single digits. We'll see a mix of sun and clouds to mainly cloudy skies. Sustained winds will be strong - out of the west-northwest at 15-20 mph.

At times wind gusts could approach 30 mph in the Twin Cities. These strong winds will make it feel like it's below zero throughout the entire day in the metro.

The good news about Friday is highs will be above zero in most locations! Unfortunately, it's just the start of the Arctic blast. We should see a mix of sun and clouds to mainly cloudy skies across the state.

Here's a step-by-step view of highs and lows across Minnesota from Friday Night through Tuesday. After Saturday, most areas will see lows in the -10s and -20s from Sunday through Tuesday mornings, with the coldest morning being either Sunday or Monday morning depending on your location. Highs on Sunday won't make it above zero in most locations and should be the day with the coldest highs statewide. Since we should see highs above zero across the state Friday, many areas of central and northern Minnesota will dip below zero Friday Night and then not climb back above that value until Tuesday at the earliest. I would not be surprised to see flurries at times this weekend, but it shouldn't amount to much.

With the wind blowing as well, it'll feel much cooler throughout this Arctic blast, with wind chill values in the -40s in the morning hours across portions of northern Minnesota Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday mornings.

So, in summary for the Twin Cities... it's going to be cold. The subzero high on Sunday is expected to be about 30F degrees below average for early February. Meanwhile, we should see wind chills in the -20s each morning from Saturday into the beginning of next week. Bundle up and stay warm!


Last Time With A Subzero High

If we do stay below zero all day on Sunday, it'll be the first time in just over two years at MSP. The last time we saw a subzero high was back on January 31st, 2019, when the high only made it to -3F. If you expand that out to include 0F or below, the last time was back on March 3, 2019, with a high of 0F.


It's Been A Warm Start To Winter, Though

Despite the upcoming cold stretch, it has been a warm start to meteorological winter here in the Twin Cities, which runs from December 1 through the end of February. Through Wednesday the average temperature since December 1 has been 23.7F, the 12th warmest start on record. Our average temperature for the winter will decrease over the next several days due to our cold snap - it'll be fun to see where we sit after we get out of the freezer eventually!


Coldest Stretch of Winter Coming Up
By Paul Douglas

Some days I pivot from meteorologist to therapist. Before I get to windchill-babble, consider this: we've picked up 72 minutes of daylight since December 21, the Winter Solstice.

WBZ meteorologist Eric Fisher in Boston confirms that "solar winter" (the darkest 90-day period of the year) is behind us. We are now entering the period of most rapid daylight gain. Yes.

Back to reality: the next 8-10 days will probably be the coldest of winter. A conga-line of cold fronts drill southward, each one tugging colder air in its wake. Expect 8-10 consecutive nights below 0F, even in the metro. "Urban heat island" keeps us a few degrees warmer, but it won't help much. Daytime highs may hover below 0F late next week as the core of the Polar Vortex drifts overhead. Big snowstorms will be pushed south by these sneezes of numbing air. Temperatures moderate later in February, but next week will be breath-taking. Literally.

MSP sees an average of 22 subzero nights every winter. At this rate, we may come close.


Paul's Extended Twin Cities Forecast

FRIDAY: Windy, feels like -15. Wake up 5. High 10. Chance of precipitation 10%. Wind NW 15-25 mph.

SATURDAY: Cloud-cluttered and cold. Wake up -4. High 3. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind NW 10-15 mph.

SUNDAY: Some sun, bordering on bitter. Wake up -13. High 0. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind NW 7-12 mph.

MONDAY: Patchy clouds, few flurries. Wake up -6. High 3. Chance of precipitation 30%. Wind N 5-10 mph.

TUESDAY: Partly sunny, cold breeze. Wake up -5. High 5. Chance of precipitation 20%. Wind W 10-20 mph.

WEDNESDAY: Still numb. Late coating of snow? Wake up -6. High 6. Chance of precipitation 40%. Wind W 10-15 mph.

THURSDAY: Few flurries, feels like -35F. Wake up -11. High -6. Chance of precipitation 30%. Wind NW 10-20 mph.


This Day in Weather History
February 5th

1834: Unseasonably mild temperatures are felt at Ft. Snelling with a high of 51.


Average Temperatures & Precipitation for Minneapolis
February 5th

Average High: 26F (Record: 51F set in 2005)
Average Low: 10F (Record: -27F set in 1979)
Average Precipitation: 0.02" (Record: 0.52" set in 1908)
Average Snowfall: 0.3" (Record: 7.5" in 1908)
Record Snow Depth: 22" in 1967


Sunrise/Sunset Times for Minneapolis
February 5th

Sunrise: 7:27 AM
Sunset: 5:27 PM

*Length Of Day: 9 hours, 59 minutes and 50 seconds
*Daylight GAINED Since Yesterday: ~2 minutes and 42 seconds

*When Do We Climb To 10 Hours Of Daylight? February 6th (10 hours, 2 minutes, and 34 seconds)
*When Is The Sunrise At/Before 7:00 AM?: February 23rd (7:00 AM)
*When Is The Sunset At/After 5:30 PM? February 7th (5:30 PM)


National Weather Forecast

As the frontal boundary that is causing a cool down in the upper Midwest continues to move eastward, snow and ice will be possible in portions of the Northeast, with rain for some coastal areas southward into the Southeast. Lake effect snow will be ongoing in the Great Lakes. A frontal boundary will bring snow chances from the Northern Rockies to the Ohio River Valley. Rain and snow will be possible in the Pacific Northwest.

We'll see a couple of areas of heavy snow over the next few days - one out west where several feet could pile up, and another downwind of the Great Lakes where we could see a foot in some areas due to lake effect. When it comes to rain, we could see an inch or two in some locations of the Southeast.


Think You Have It Bad? Try Living in Perth, Australia, Right Now

More from Earther: "It's looking apocalyptic Down Under. Thousands of people were forced to leave their homes in the state of Western Australia this week as wildfires tore through an area close to the city of Perth, right as the city began a strict lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. Officials say the Wooroloo Fire, which has a 50-mile (80-kilometer) perimeter, doubled in size overnight and has already destroyed almost 20,000 acres. More than 70 homes have been lost since the fire began Monday evening, including 80% of all properties in one rural area. In a media briefing Wednesday, Western Australia Premier Mark McGowan said the state was in an "unprecedented situation.""

Analysis: Waiting to cut emissions will ultimately make it more expensive

More from Axios: "Putting U.S. carbon emissions on a steep downward path would cost plenty of money. But waiting to act is way more expensive, a new analysis out this morning concludes. Driving the news: The research firm Energy Innovation modeled two policy scenarios for reaching net-zero emissions by 2050, a common target for limiting the amount of future warming. One scenario starts aggressive efforts now, the other that waits until 2030." The longer we wait, the more drastic the [emissions] cuts — and associated costs — will be," the firm notes."

Rising sea levels may make some airports unusable

From Climate News Network: "Passengers, prepare for splashdown. Take-off may have to wait for low tide. By 2100, thanks to rising sea levels, around 100 of the world's airports could be below mean sea level and at least 364 will be vulnerable to flooding. And that's assuming the world's nations keep a promise made in 2015 and confine global heating to no more than 2°C above the average maintained for most of human history. If humans go on burning fossil fuels and clearing forests at the present rate, then at least 572 of the world's airports could be at risk of flooding from extreme tides, according to a new study in the journal Climate Risk Management."


Thanks for checking in and have a great day! Don't forget to follow me on Twitter (@dkayserwx) and like me on Facebook (Meteorologist D.J. Kayser).

- D.J. Kayser