Did you know that the actual air temperature in the Twin Cities is expected to stay below zero until Monday afternoon?
It's the cold-hard-truth, according to the National Weather Service, which says the Twin Cities dipped below zero at 4 a.m. Saturday and will stay subzero until about 2 p.m. Monday. That would create a stretch of 58 hours straight below zero.
It sounds nasty enough, but it's a walk in the park compared to the longest subzero streaks in Twin Cities history. According to the state climatology office, the Twin Cities went seven straight days without breaking out of the negatives from Dec. 31, 1911 until Jan. 8, 1912 – a miserable stretch of 186 hours below zero.
There was a 142-hour stretch at or below zero in January 1994, and more recently a stretch of 86 straight hours in January 2009. The Twin Cities went 78 hours at or below zero from midnight Jan. 29, 2019 until 5 a.m. Feb. 1, 2019.
But that's not counting the wind chill. If you factor in the wind chill, there's a chance Minnesota stays subzero until Valentine's Day. Just look at the abysmal wind chill values the American model is hammering down on Minnesota with until Feb. 19. It needs to be noted that long-term models struggle with trends that far out, and the American model tends to run a bit colder than reality.
The European model isn't much more hopeful, also showing Minnesota stuck in the meat locker with subzero wind chill values through Feb. 16, though it does show a few hours of above-zero wind chills next Wednesday.