Due to what the National Weather Service is calling a "remarkably persistent Arctic airmass," Minnesota is forecast to have wind chill values below zero for a week straight.
A week in the freezer will feature face-stinging cold with brisk winds pushing wind chill values deep into the subzero readings, with the Twin Cities expected to reach -30 degrees Sunday morning. It'll be worse in northwest Minnesota as wind chill values nosedive to -50 degrees.
The actual air temperature in the Twin Cities is forecast to be -1 degrees for daytime highs Saturday and Sunday, followed by single digits (1 to 5 degrees) Monday through Thursday. High temps in northwest Minnesota will remain well below zero for a week straight.
Here's a good look at what the wind chill could be in different cities throughout Minnesota now through Thursday. Good luck, Alexandria.
As nasty as the cold temps will feel, they really don't compare to the worst icy spells in Minnesota history. Here's the Minnesota State Climatology Office providing context:
"How does the coming cold snap stack up historically? Well, the NWS forecast low of -30 F at International Falls on Monday would tie 100 other dates for the 450th lowest temperature on record at that station. The forecast low of -14 F at the Twin Cities airport would tie 137 other dates for the 876th lowest temperature on record. We can do this, Minnesota."
How long this cold spell lasts is still a bit of a mystery. For sure it'll last through at least next Thursday, though the models are suggesting it could last for two weeks. The American model, which meteorologist Sven Sundgaard says tends to lean colder than what happens in the real world, has Minnesota suffering through subzero wind chills until Feb. 18.
The European model has wind chill readings moderating back to the single digits above zero by Valentine's Day.
We'll see what happens, but 7-10 days in the meat locker is what we'll have to deal with.