(KMSP) - In a weird twist, Minnesota is about to get cold. Well, ok, maybe not that weird considering its Minnesota, but since we have been enjoying nearly a month of spring-like weather, it may seem a little odd. Canada is about to open its door once again and allow some truly cold arctic air into the state. Now, this isn’t going to be record breaking cold (pretty tough to get record lows in the winter without any snow on the ground), but considering where we have been sitting and it’s been weeks since temperatures have dipped 15 or 20 degrees below average, I think we can call this pretty cold.
What makes this cold snap different than all the rest is that the air near the North Pole is unusually cold… even for the North Pole. While I’m sure you have read story after story about the North Pole being really warm and the Arctic Ocean experiencing very low sea ice once again, the land masses of northern Canada have been unusually cold this winter with temperatures averaging three to eight degrees below average since December. And now, parts of northern Canada and Alaska have seen their coldest March temperatures in decades and that air is heading south!
I am by no means saying that temperatures will be 30 or 40 below zero in Minnesota because that air will warm as it heads south, running into a higher sun angle and ground that’s no longer covered in snow, allowing the temperatures to warm pretty significantly. But it will be below average around here for a while. Now just imagine how cold it could be if we did have some snow on the ground!
While the cold will be accompanied by little, if any snow in the metro over the weekend or early next week, other parts of the Upper Midwest could end up with several inches of fluff. That storm track will head east early next week and could finally bring some significant snows to places like DC and Philadelphia that have seen next to nothing so far this season.