"To hunker" is a verb Minnesotans have become far too familiar with this winter. Those who are weary of hunkering down during the current bitter blast will be heartened by news that they should be able to venture outdoors without wearing three layers of winter gear by midweek.
But in the meantime, KSTP reports that a wind chill advisory remains in effect for much of the state. The extreme temperatures mean frostbite is an issue for exposed skin. Overnight Monday, temperatures will drop to a low of minus 13, and an even colder wind chill of minus 25.
The station says that Minnesotans will have to contend with these dangerous subzero temperatures through midday Tuesday, when the extremes begin to ease. The mercury should push into the low teens by Tuesday afternoon and all the way up to 30 on Wednesday before falling back into the teens for the remainder of the week.
Warmer temperatures should continue into the upcoming weekend, but the relief comes with snowfall. The weather forecast in the Star Tribune predicts that light snow could begin Tuesday, with as many as four additional snow-bearing clippers possible though next weekend.
On his MPR Updraft blog, meteorologist Paul Huttner says that if you think you haven't had to put up with weather this punishing for a while, you are correct. "If you’re under 32 or moved to Minnesota in the past three decades, you’ve never endured a winter quite like this," he writes. The Duluth News Tribune reported that the city matched its record for most consecutive days with the daily low temperature below zero. The record is 22 days in a row, previously set in 1936 and 1963.
Writing in the Star Tribune, meteorologist Todd Nelson calls the current cold "lung-burning." He notes that the average temperature in both December and January ran more than 7 degrees below average. That trend has continued so far in February, with readings nearly 14 degrees below the average.
Cheer up. Nelson writes that warmer weather is possible in the second part of February, according to extended weather models.