Minnesota weather: Near-record cold going into weekend - KMSP-TV

Near-record cold expected going into the weekend

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Yes, it's true...a little taste of fall is coming to the Upper Midwest at the end of July.

As I'm sure you have heard by now a pretty strong cold front will be pushing through the center portions of the country in the coming days allowing some of the coolest summertime air we have experienced in a while to filter in from Canada.  This will likely bring near record cold to the area.

But it's not just Minnesota. At current forecast, Chicago could have one of the top 10 coolest weekends ever recorded in the month of July. In fact, you have to go back almost 100 years to find one as cool as they are anticipating.

We are not expecting anything quite that cold here, and with the anticipated sunshine, it's not going to feel like a cold September day. However, it's not exactly what you would call "pool" weather either.

Here is a look at that cold front. The following image is what 850mb temperatures (5000 feet above the ground) look like Thursday morning. For more information on why we use 850mb temps, see the blog titled "Finishing off July Pleasantly Mild but Below Average."

Thursday morning, things still look pretty mild with some yellows and oranges through the area indicating warm but not hot temperatures. Now take a peek at forecasted 5000 foot temperatures for Saturday morning.

A world of difference isn't it?? Looks pretty cool with those blue colors indicating 5000 foot temperatures in the upper 30's and low 40's. But before you freak out, surface temperatures this time of year are almost always far warmer than at 5000 feet as the sun significantly warms the ground. But with 850mb temperatures this cool, numbers at the surface will be far cooler than average. Check out our current forecast compared to what's normal for this time of year and compared to the records for Friday, Saturday, and early Sunday.

The first image shows the highs with the average at 84 but our forecast has us right around 70. This isn't far from the record low maximum temperatures for this weekend which are in the mid to upper 60's. Same story for the overnight lows. The average is 64 but current forecast has them in the low 50's with record lows for the dates near 50.

So at the moment, no records will be broken, however this can still change. Some new data we are getting in suggests that lows could drop into the upper 40's, even in the metro. Below is an image from another computer forecasting model. It shows temperatures across the area Saturday morning.

It has lows in the 40's widespread from the Dakotas through Minnesota eastward to Michigan. This maybe a touch cool, but at current trends, Sunday morning looks even cooler. So open those windows shut off the ac and enjoy some fresh air the next few days.

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