Cold Weather Pattern Forecast for this Week

Bryan Dijkhuizen

A generally calm and very cold weather pattern is predicted to develop over the next several days, with extremely low wind chills forecast this weekend.

Early this morning, a low-pressure system was centered over the Minnesota Arrowhead, with an occluded/cold front following from the low-pressure system over eastern Wisconsin and Illinois and down into the Red River Valley of the southern United States.

In western Minnesota, high pressure was rising above the Northern Plains and pushing into the state, creating a tight pressure gradient throughout the eastern part of the state and gusty winds.

Combined with the region of high pressure, very cold air will approach, resulting in highs today that are in the single digits above and below zero over northern Minnesota, and single digits and teens above zero across northwestern Wisconsin.

Lows tonight will plummet into the teens and single digits below zero, although moderate breezes will help to keep the wind chill to a bare minimum if necessary.

Temperatures will rise a little as the week progresses, but they will stay below freezing for highs.

On Thursday afternoon and into Thursday night, a weak shortwave will travel over the region, bringing light snow showers to the area. This storm seems to be very deficient in moisture, and any snowfall quantities appear to be in the range of an inch or less.

In the Grand Marais to Grand Portage region, some larger quantities may be possible due to onshore winds and resulting topography effects, which will provide a little more moisture and lift to the system.

A further blast of cold air comes behind this storm, resulting in maximum temperatures that are in the single digits above and below zero for the weekend. Low temperatures are expected to be in the teens and twenties below zero on Saturday and Sunday, with hazardous wind chills a possibility.

With the start of the new week, temperatures will begin to warm up a little, but highs will stay below freezing.

Because Lake Superior is almost ice-free, the precise direction of the wind is the most important factor in determining where the lake effect will manifest itself, whether it is in northwest Wisconsin or farther into Upper Michigan.

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