Frigid air, blowing snow and dangerously cold wind chill readings greeted the St. Croix Valley this morning and conditions might not improve for several days, according to National Weather Service forecasters.
Gusty northwest winds of 25 to 35 mph caused areas of blowing snow and produced wind chill readings of minus 20 to minus 35 when combined with air temperatures between zero and minus 10 in the region.
NWS forecasters said the bitter cold wind chill readings would persist this morning before wind chills improve this afternoon as winds begin to diminish.
“Patches of blowing and drifting snow with occasional visibility reductions will also be possible today,” forecasters said.
The NWS office in Chanhassen also issued a winter storm watch for parts of eastern Minnesota and west central Wisconsin, including Washington County for Thursday evening through Friday afternoon in anticipation of another system bringing heavy snow to the region.
“A strong storm system will bring accumulating snow to the region from Thursday into Friday. Snowfall amounts in excess of six inches are possible over central and south-central Minnesota,” forecasters said.
Highs today forecast to struggle into the mid-single digits above zero, but wind chill readings will remain well below zero much of the day. Tonight will be clear, breezy and cold with lows near minus 10 and northwest winds 5 to 15 mph producing wind chill readings near minus 25.
Wednesday sees a slight improvement with sunny skies and highs in the middle teens and northwest winds diminishing to near 5 mph. Wednesday night will be partly cloudy and not as cold with a low near 0.
NWS forecasters said the Valley can expect snow developing Thursday night and continuing Friday with 5- to 8-inch accumulations expected. Forecasters added that higher accumulations are forecast south of the metro area.
“Snowfall accumulations approaching 10 inches appear the most possible along Interstate 90 in south-central and southeastern Minnesota,” forecasters said.