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Summertime polar vortex sets sights on Minnesota

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This is not a headline from The Onion: A summertime polar vortex (which apparently is not an oxymoron) is set to hit Minnesota early next week.

OK, take a deep breath, it's not that bad. Good? OK, here are the details.

Temperatures won't dip to well below zero, like they did back in January; they won't even get close, really. But a system of cool air "reminiscent of [the] major polar plunge that occurred this past winter" is expected to roll in Monday, Accuweather meteorologist Carl Erickson says.

The expected temperatures will fall well below average, according to the above map from the National Weather Service.

That means highs in the 60s in Minneapolis and much of the rest of the state, with lows dipping to the 50s at night – and possibly even down to the 40s, the Faribault Daily News reports.

The Daily Beast says the lows could be as much as 30 degrees below normal.

That's great news for the 160,000 expected visitors in the Twin Cities for this weekend's MLB All-Star Game festivities. (Yes, that was a bit of sarcasm.)

The Washington Post says the cold could put a damper on the event, not just because spectators will likely need to bundle up in a jacket or fleece, the Post explains – but also because low temps usually mean less distance on hit baseballs, which could adversely affect Monday night's Home Run Derby.

Now, it's not necessarily an actual polar vortex. Chicago meteorologist Tom Skilling tells the city's RedEye publication it's a "pool of unseasonably cool air," as a polar vortex can really only form in winter.

Still, it will be a relative cold snap. And it will likely be preceded by rain and storms, possibly starting Friday, whether you're in Minneapolis, Duluth, Moorhead, St. Cloud, Rochester or Marshall.

So get out that light coat this weekend, because the polar vortexes don't appear to be done with us.

Or as Slate puts it: "Mid-July is looking more like Mid-September."

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