What the ...? Spring ushers in winter-like weather

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You may have noticed the temperature on your phone (or thermometer, if you prefer the traditional) seems to have crept down to winter-like levels. Single digits across much of the state – even some of those dreaded temps with a hyphen preceding.

All despite it officially being spring.

According to the National Weather Service, Moorhead (and much of northwest Minnesota) is facing a hazardous weather outlook Saturday. The service describes "dangerous wind chills" this morning around 20 below zero, along with icy road conditions.

That should clear up Sunday, but is is still expected to be chilly, with a high of 24 that day.

St. Cloud is facing a high of 16 today, with a low of minus 1. And it likely won't hit freezing again until Wednesday. The metro gets a high of 19 today, with a floor of 4. Bump that up by about 5 degrees and you have Sunday's forecast. Up north in Duluth, it was still below zero as of 8 a.m. The high for both days this weekend is about 20, with lows dipping to just below zero.

The closest-to-spring temperatures should come in southeast Minnesota; Worthington gets a high of 26 today.

Just 10 days ago we were all worried about puddles, thanks to a rise of the mercury. Now we're facing what Accuweather calls "January-like cold", as temperatures today hover 20 degrees below normal, KARE 11 reports.

So what the heck happened?

Well, blame Canada. Or at least the arctic air that traveled through our neighbors to the north.

The Star Tribune's Paul Douglas writes a "persistent flow" coming out of Canada since late 2013 has made it tough for Minnesota to shake below-average cold. And Minnesota isn't alone this weekend: Douglas says the entire eastern two-thirds of the U.S. will be 10-25 degrees colder than normal.

Accuweather says it's another round of arctic air, traveling behind a cold front.

But, here's your dose of warm light at the end of the arctic tunnel: Early forecasts show next weekend could reach the 50s, maybe even 60s, in southern Minnesota, writes MPR's Paul Huttner. Huttner says two different weather models show warm air ready to swoop into the nation's Upper Midwest just seven days from now.

In the meantime, John Wheeler of WDAY takes a toughen-up approach. He reminds us we all complain about miserable March weather, but we get it almost every year. And it could be worse. The coldest March on record for the Fargo-Moorhead area was in 1899. Temps remained below freezing for all but two days in the month, and on 15 mornings residents were greeted with subzero temps.

The northland was hit with plenty of snow Friday – a reminder that winter hasn't yet decided to leave us alone.

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