The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a winter storm watch across Minnesota along and south of the Interstate 94 corridor, from Fargo to St. Cloud and down through the Twin Cities and through Wisconsin.
A powerful Alberta clipper is poised to dive southeast out of Canada and bring heavy snow to the region, and the Twin Cities appears to be smack dab in the middle of the storm's current track.
Areas within the watch should anticipate 5-9 inches of snow with higher amounts in eastern and southeastern Minnesota. The Twin Cities could see upwards of 8 inches while Red Wing and Winona could reach double digits.
Here's the detailed winter storm watch language issued by the NWS:
"The Watch is in effect for locations generally along and south of an Alexandria to Rush City to Ladysmith line. Snowfall amounts in the 5 to 9 inch range are possible, with isolated higher totals. Blowing snow will also become a concern on Monday as northwest winds become gusty.
Travel could be very difficult. Patchy blowing snow could significantly reduce visibility. The hazardous conditions could impact the morning commute. The cold wind chills as low as 20 below zero could cause frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes."
The snow will begin earlier in western Minnesota and arrive in the metro area by late afternoon, with the bulk of the snow falling overnight into Monday morning. Monday's commute to work will likely be difficult.
Coldest air since 1996 to follow
It's a good bet at this point that next week's highly publicized blast of Arctic air will arrive on Tuesday with Wednesday and Thursday being the coldest days of the week.
Actually, they might be the coldest days many parts of Minnesota, including the Twin Cities, have had since the Feb. 1-2 cold blast of 1996 that dropped the temp in the Twin Cities to a ridiculous 34 below zero.
The NWS believes lows on Wednesday will be in the -25 to -30 range with highs -10 to -20. That's extreme cold, and it'll be accompanied by 10-15 mph winds that will push wind chill values as low as -50, perhaps worse in some areas.
Here's a great GIF representation from Tropical Tidbits showing temperatures as they start out chilly Sunday afternoon and then nosedive Tuesday-Thursday before rebounding into the teens by next weekend.