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One more cold day, then January thaws us out

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Yes, we have a warmup on the way. However, it's going to get cold again first. Get ready for another blast of Arctic air to kick off this new work week.

The chance of snow is pretty much nonexistent to mess up another commute. And the sunshine will be out in full force. That's the good news. The bad news it's going to be COLD!

Look for highs to squeak above 0 degrees Monday afternoon in the metro, where the forecast high is 4 degrees. Winds will be light from the north at 5 to 10 mph, but that'll be enough to push wind chills to near -20 degrees – not cold enough for a wind chill advisory, but chilly nonetheless.

The coldest night of the forecast is Monday night. Expect lows to drop to near -10 degrees (air temperature) in the Twin Cities. However, winds are going to switch around to the south pushing afternoon highs to near 10 degrees. This will be the beginning of a significant warming trend.

Mild Pacific air starts to push the cold Arctic air out of the region by midweek. Highs rebound nicely to around 20 degrees Wednesday, then upper 20s Thursday. The lower 30s are likely Friday through the weekend, which will melt a little of that crusty snowpack.

Climatology notes

This week is statistically the coldest week of the year. The average high in the Twin Cities is 23 degrees each day through Jan. 19. Then the average high rebounds to 24 degrees and upward from there through the summer.

So, with temperatures in the 30s next weekend, we'd be sitting about 10 degrees above average with some of the coldest periods of the winter, statistically speaking, behind us.

January thaws are pretty common in Minnesota, KSTP meteorologist Dave Dahl notes. The jet stream often changes its path around this time of the year to come from the west instead of the northwest, which brings in milder, Pacific air.

Dahl says the thaw usually comes in the second half of January, right after our coldest average temperatures. This winter it's coming just a little bit earlier.

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