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When is the last time the Twin Cities reached -30 without the wind chill?

What if the computer models aren't wrong and it does reach -30 next week?

There's a good chance overnight lows drop into the negative 20s in the Twin Cities next Wednesday and Thursday. That's common enough, but reaching -30 is very rare.

Will it happen next week when the polar vortex surges south and gives Minnesota an ice bath to remember? 

The odds are against it, but it's not impossible. The American model (GFS) is suggesting folks in the Twin Cities will be waking up to -33 degrees on Wednesday morning. By all meteorological accounts, computer models like this will recognize these temps being warmer as the date draws nearer, but it's an indicator that it's going to be brutal. 

There have been 12 times in Twin Cities history (since 1891) when the coldest day of the year has plummeted to negative 30 or lower. 

  • 1996: -32, Feb. 2
  • 1977: -32, Jan. 9
  • 1974: -30, Jan. 1
  • 1970: -34, Jan. 19
  • 1967: -31, Jan. 18
  • 1963: -32, Jan. 15
  • 1962: -32, Mar. 1
  • 1943: -31, Jan. 19
  • 1936: -34, Jan. 22
  • 1935: -31, Jan. 23
  • 1916: -30, Jan. 13
  • 1912: -31, Jan. 12
  • 1904: -33, Jan. 24
  • 1899: -33, Feb. 9

For that type of cold to drop all the way to the Twin Cities is remarkable. 

Think about it like this: there are more than three million people living in the Twin Cities metro area. Cold like this impacts Manitoba, Canada on a more regular basis, but Manitoba's entire population is about 1.3 million. 

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So when extreme cold like this arrives in Minnesota it has a much greater impact on people, especially when it dives into the Twin Cities. 

By the way, the coldest temperature ever observed in Minnesota is an unnerving -60. It happened in Tower, Minnesota on Feb. 2, 1996. 

Six days later it was 48 degrees in Tower.  

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