Another winter blast on its way; blizzard conditions, frigid air

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Another batch of Arctic air is moving into Minnesota, bringing another stretch of very cold temperatures. A wind chill advisory in effect overnight for much of Minnesota Tuesday night through 11 a.m Wednesday, KSTP reports.

But it only gets worse from there. Wednesday will be a blustery day, with winds shifting from the southwest to the northeast, according to MPR's meteorologist Craig Edwards.

Blizzard-like conditions will spread over a large part of southern and western Minnesota Wednesday afternoon into Wednesday night, with strong winds making travel conditions difficult or impossible, according to the National Weather Service.

A blizzard warning is in effect for those areas for Wednesday afternoon and Wednesday night. Wind gusts of 50 mph will bring widespread blowing and drifting snow, with some drifts exceeding 3 feet in open areas.

Most of the rest of the state will be under a winter weather advisory for the same time. Conditions in those areas will be a bit better, but still difficult, the weather service said.

High temperatures should reach the upper teens on Wednesday, but on Thursday they will drop back into the single digits above zero.Wind chill readings will be well below zero on Wednesday night.

The rest of the week will be cold, too. High temperatures are not likely to get out of the teens.

This probably won't come as a surprise, but this winter is the coldest one in 35 years in the area, according to records from the National Weather Service. It'll most likely end up as the 10th coldest winter in the Twin Cities, the 4th coldest in St. Cloud, and the 3rd coldest in Eau Claire, compared to records dating back to the late 1800s. This is the coldest winter since 1978-1979 (35 years) in all three locations.

By the way, the weather service says "meteorological winter" ends on Feb. 28. If only....

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