Extreme cold polar temps descended south over the weekend to bring subzero temperatures and dangerously cold windchills across the Midwest including North and South Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and of course Minnesota -- home base to the SWIFT Weather operations.
We Minnesotans are used to cold weather, but this is one for the recordbooks. As a whole, this winter has been the coldest in decades with several weeks of subzero temperatures.
We woke this morning with temperatures at -18 degrees Farhenheit near Minneapolis and Wind Chill values around -45 degrees. That number is to expected to drop further overnight to -21 degrees F and almost -50 Wind Chill. And Minneapolis isn't the coldest part of the state by a long shot. The further north you go, the colder it gets.
Stay warm and plan ahead if you need to travel anywhere. Stock up on winter gear -- after Christmas is a good time to get deep discounts on winter apparel.
While a large portion of the country struggles with a heat wave, the upper midwest will be dealing with the possibility of strong storms later today and tomorrow. While tornadoes are possible, the main threat looks to be strong winds and hail.
Day 1 Convective Outlook (also showing current temperatures)
Day 2 Convective Outlook
With any luck, the storms won't do any damage and may provide a brief respite for the upper midwest from the oppressive heat.
Some recent heat related records/stats:
- Bowling Green, KY (new high for 7/27) of 109°F (old record of 108°F had stood since 1930)
- Dallas, TX (new high minimum temperature all time) of 86°F on 7/26
- Speaking of Dallas, they are currently in the middle of their 3rd longest streak (ever) of 100+ days - currently at 25 (record 42)
- New York City used 1 Trillion Watt Hours of electricity over a 4 day heat wave last week (equals Vermont's total for 2 normal months)
- Wichita Falls, TX (new high minimum temperature all time) of 88°F (old record was 83°F in 1952) on 7/26
This past weekend saw a large, destructive outbreak of tornadoes in 15 states. A total of 45 people died in 6 states. The most recent being a 6 month old in North Carolina that was hospitalized after 25 tornadoes tore through the state Saturday. Of the 25 tornadoes in North Carolina, 5 of them were rated EF3 (136 - 165 mph winds). The 25 tornadoes are also the largest outbreak in the state since 1984 when 25 tornadoes broke out on March 28th killing 42 people.
The National Weather Service is investigating 267 reports of tornadoes from this past weekend. Many of those will be duplicate reports of the same tornado but it underlines the immensity of the outbreak. The outbreak was the deadliest in the U.S. since 2008. The hardest hit states were Alabama, Mississippi and North Carolina.
Now, a new outbreak is set to hit the midwest today. The Storm Prediction Center has placed parts of 8 states under a moderate risk of severe weather for today. The increased risk is along a frontal boundary moving across the nation's mid-section.
The threat exists for damaging winds, hail and tornadoes.
Outlook for Tornadoes
Outlook for Hail
It is imperative that spotters and emergency management personnel, as well as the general public, closely monitor this developing situation. Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes can develop rapidly and with very little warning. Ensure that you have multiple sources of information (e.g. internet, weather radio, TV, Weather Defender) to help provide you with the most up-to-date information to help you remain safe.