Arctic Blast: January 5-7, 2014

 

The coldest air mass since the "deep freeze" of January 29-30, 2004 caused Governor Mark Dayton to cancel schools on January 6, 2014 and gave many children an extended holiday break. This was a wind-driven event for the most part and the coldest windchills were on Monday, January 6th. The coldest wind chill temperature in Minnesota on January 6th was -63 degrees at Grand Marais Airport at 9am with a -31 degree F air temperature and a 21mph wind. The coldest wind chill temperature in the Twin Cities on January 6th was -48 degrees at 5am with an air temperature of -22 degrees F and a 15mph wind.

The coldest air temperature (not the wind chill) in Minnesota for the event was -40 at Babbitt, Brimson and Embarrass. The coldest air temperature at the Twin Cities was -23 on January 6th, the coldest since -24 degrees on January 30, 2004. The high temperature of -12 in the Twin Cities on January 6th, was the coldest high temperature since -17 degrees on February 2, 1996. The coldest air temperatures so far for the winter of 2013-14 were on January 2-3 at Embarrass with -46 degrees.

A strong area of low pressure was centered just east of Hudson Bay, a sharp cold front extended from this low and passed through Key West, Florida during the afternoon of Jan 6, and by January 7th the Arctic front was far offshore. The term: "Polar Vortex" became vogue as a large area of high pressure moved in across the eastern half of the United States behind this front. New Orleans, Louisiana had a low temperature of 24 degrees on January 7, while Jacksonville, Florida had a low of 22 degrees on the same date. Both were one degree shy of their minimum temperature record of the day.

Governor Mark Dayton cancelled K-12 public schools statewide on Monday January 6th due to extreme windchills that were forecasted well in advance. The coldest wind chill temperature in Minnesota on January 6th was -63 degrees at Grand Marais Airport at 9am with a -31 degree F air temperature and a 21mph wind. The coldest wind chill temperature in the Twin Cities was -48 degrees at 5am with an air temperature of -22 degrees F and a 15mph wind. Many schools also cancelled classes January 7th as well. The wind chill at 4am January 7th was -28 at the Twin Cities International Airport with an air temperature of -14 and a wind of 6mph.

The Twin Cities was at or below zero for 62 straight hours from 11pm January 4 to Noon on January 7th. This is a long way from the top ten below zero streaks and even falls short of the streak of 86 hours at or below zero from January 12-16, 2009.

 

National Weather Service Summaries


Listed below are Preliminary Local Storm Reports from the National Weather Service.


PRELIMINARY LOCAL STORM REPORT...SUMMARY
Summary Of The Coldest Wind Chills During The Cold Outbreak

Truly arctic air pushed into the upper Midwest in early January, 
causing extremely cold temperatures and wind chills across the region.  
Below is a summary of the coldest wind chill values seen across the
 NWS Twin Cities forecast area during the cold outbreak.

LOCATION                       TEMP      TIME/DATE
3 SSE ALEXANDRIA               -56       1030 AM 01/06
GLENWOOD                       -56       0853 AM 01/06
1 NNW RICE                     -55       0250 AM 01/06
8 SSE CANNON FALLS             -54       0615 AM 01/06
9 SSW STARBUCK                 -53       0605 AM 01/06
ALEXANDRIA AIRPORT             -53       0853 AM 01/06
LAKEVILLE AIRPORT              -53       0604 AM 01/06
3 ESE BELGRADE                 -53       0800 AM 01/06
MORRIS AIRPORT                 -52       0441 AM 01/06
BENSON AIRPORT                 -51       0732 AM 01/06
LONG PRAIRIE AIRPORT           -51       1124 PM 01/05
3 WNW HARDING                  -51       0255 AM 01/06
NEW ULM AIRPORT                -51       1153 PM 01/05
ST. CLOUD REGIONAL AIRPORT     -51       0953 PM 01/05
2 SE SAUK CENTRE               -51       0930 AM 01/06
2 WSW CLARA CITY               -50       0323 AM 01/06
2 W WINTHROP                   -50       0340 AM 01/06
3 ESE PENNOCK                  -50       0721 AM 01/06
3 S LITCHFIELD                 -50       0311 AM 01/06
5 SE TWIN LAKES                -50       0520 AM 01/06
5 NNE ELLENDALE                -50       0605 AM 01/06
3 SW KNAPP                     -50       0556 AM 01/06
NEW RICHMOND                   -50       0635 AM 01/06
PAYNESVILLE MUNICIPAL AIRPORT  -50       0832 AM 01/06
MUNICIPAL APT                  -50       0801 AM 01/06
2 SE SAUK CENTRE               -50       0812 AM 01/06
8 N MILACA                     -50       0505 AM 01/06
3 SE CUMBERLAND                -50       0635 AM 01/06
MONTEVIDEO                     -49       0414 AM 01/06
5 WNW RED WING                 -49       0720 AM 01/06
RUSK COUNTY AIRPORT            -49       0515 AM 01/06
GRANITE FALLS                  -49       0732 AM 01/06
1 SSE STANLEY                  -49       0458 AM 01/06
2 NW NEW GERMANY               -49       1215 AM 01/06
MINNEAPOLIS CRYSTAL AIRPORT    -48       0253 AM 01/06
ST PAUL DOWNTOWN AIRPORT       -48       0253 AM 01/06
FAIRMONT MUNICIPAL AIRPORT     -48       0715 AM 01/06
HUTCHINSON                     -48       0833 AM 01/06
MENOMONIE                      -48       0655 AM 01/06
LITCHFIELD                     -48       0213 AM 01/06
APPLETON                       -48       0313 AM 01/06
2 NW BLUE EARTH                -48       0420 AM 01/06
ALBERT LEA MUNICIPAL AP        -48       0109 AM 01/06
3 ENE MADELIA                  -48       0520 AM 01/06
MANKATO REGIONAL AIRPORT       -48       0755 AM 01/06
ST JAMES                       -48       0435 AM 01/06
CHIPPEWA VALLEY REGIONAL AIRPO -48       0704 AM 01/06
MINNEAPOLIS-ST PAUL INTL AP    -48       0453 AM 01/06
RICE LAKE                      -48       0655 AM 01/06
OSCEOLA                        -48       0355 AM 01/06
FLYING CLOUD AIRPORT           -47       0453 AM 01/06
OLIVIA                         -47       1254 AM 01/06
1 SE CLEARWATER                -47       0440 AM 01/06
BUFFALO                        -47       0355 AM 01/06
3 E LAKE ELMO                  -47       0312 AM 01/06
HANLEY FALLS                   -47       0445 AM 01/06
PRINCETON                      -47       0333 AM 01/06
REDWOOD FALLS MUNICIPAL AIRPOR -47       1051 PM 01/05
ANOKA COUNTY-BLAINE AIRPORT (J -47       0214 AM 01/06
5 SSW MARIETTA                 -47       0155 AM 01/06
SPRING VALLEY                  -47       0300 AM 01/06
5 NW RIVER FALLS               -46       0659 AM 01/06
LITTLE FALLS                   -46       1105 AM 01/06
2 SW LADYSMITH                 -46       0405 AM 01/06
MAPLE LAKE                     -46       0417 AM 01/06
GLENCOE                        -46       1113 PM 01/05
WASECA                         -46       0535 AM 01/06
3 E SANTIAGO                   -46       0320 AM 01/06
FAIRBAULT MUNI AP              -45       0554 AM 01/06
RUSH CITY                      -45       0454 AM 01/06
1 ENE MORA                     -45       0608 AM 01/06
2 SSE LITTLE FALLS             -45       1107 PM 01/05
1 N CANBY                      -45       0815 PM 01/05
2 ESE SAINT CROIX FALLS        -45       0604 AM 01/06
6 WSW WYOMING                  -45       0306 AM 01/06
STANTON AIRFIELD               -45       0652 AM 01/06
1 SE MAPLE GROVE               -44       0205 AM 01/06
3 N HARRIS                     -44       1145 PM 01/05
3 S CARVER                     -44       0449 AM 01/06
RED WING                       -43       0301 AM 01/06
MORA                           -43       0933 PM 01/05
CAMBRIDGE                      -42       0615 AM 01/06
MADISON                        -41       0333 AM 01/06
1 N SKYLINE                    -41       0910 AM 01/06
3 SSE ALTOONA                  -41       0954 AM 01/06
SOUTH ST PAUL MUNI -RICHARD FL -40       0212 AM 01/06
6 WSW FOLEY                    -40       0315 AM 01/06
1 S MONTEVIDEO                 -40       0910 AM 01/06

 

Last modified: January 21, 2014
For more information contact: climate@umn.edu