Twin Cities Wind Chill Temperature History

frozen landscape photo

photo credit: Nancy Boulay

The winter of 2013-2014 has reminded "seasoned" Twin Cities residents of winters of yore. Wind chill temperatures, the "feels like" temperature accounting for the combined influence of air temperature and wind speed, have dropped to dangerous levels many times this winter.

The National Weather Service issues Wind Chill Advisory when conditions are anticipated to be potentially hazardous. A Wind Chill Warning is issued when wind chill temperatures are projected to be life threatening. To learn more about wind chill and its hazards, see: National Weather Service Wind Chill Information.

The Twin Cities National Weather Service Forecast Office uses -25 degrees F as the threshold for issuing a Wind Chill Advisory and -35 degrees F for a Wind Chill Warning (see: National Weather Service Warning Criteria).

Historical Twin Cities hourly temperature and wind speed data were assessed to determine the frequency at which the Advisory and Warning thresholds are reached. The data were also utilized to ascertain winter-by-winter low wind chill values in order to provide each generation of Twin Citians with “bragging rights”. The lowest wind chill value found over the 1905-2014 period was -63 degrees F, occurring on January 22, 1936.

Winter 2013-2014 summaries found in the graphics below include data through March 3, 2014. Wind chill temperatures for all years were calculated using the formula pdf implemented by the National Weather Service in 2001.

Number of Wind Chill Warning Threshold Days

chart of winter-to-winter wind chill temperature extremes

Click to enlarge

Number of Wind Chill Advisory Threshold Days

chart of winter-to-winter wind chill temperature extremes

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Wind Chill Extremes for Each Winter

chart of winter-to-winter wind chill temperature extremes

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Also see Historic Wind Chill Temperatures in Minnesota.

 

Last modified: February 10, 2014
For more information contact: climate@umn.edu