We’ve been dealing with cold temperatures for the past 15-20 days here in Minnesota and Iowa. To understand exactly what is happening in the atmosphere, we need to look way up to our north. Above normal sea surface temperatures in the northern Pacific could be a big reason for the cold weather here at home.
The warm northern Pacific waters are causing a strong upper-level ridge in the jet stream near Alaska. This ridge forces an upper-level trough over the central portion of the U.S leading to cold arctic air funneling into the Midwest. I think we eventually see the jet stream balance out slightly late this week and early next week. Closer to normal temperatures will return by the weekend.
The potentially record-breaking November cold will continue the next 24-48 hours. Afternoon highs Monday were too warm to set the all-time record cold high in Rochester. The coldest high for November 11th in Rochester is 17° set back in 1986. The high-temperature Monday reached just over that mark at 19°.
The record that could be broken is the overnight low Monday night into Tuesday. The coldest low temperature for November 12th in Rochester is -1° set back in 1986. Overnight lows Monday into Tuesday will dip into the lower single digits close to 0°. This record might be breakable if winds slightly calm overnight.
Highs Tuesday warm into the middle and upper teens with mostly sunny skies. Winds will be breezy out of the south-southwest around 10-20 mph. Wind chills will be below 0° most of the morning and in the single digits for the afternoon.
Temperatures will slowly rebound throughout the week. Highs warm into the upper 20s Wednesday afternoon with a chance for light snow. Snowfall accumulations are expected to be minor during the afternoon. Most areas will see less than an inch of snow.
The upper 30s return to the extended forecast late this week. Highs by the weekend will be near 40° which will feel amazing compared to the arctic temperatures we’ve been dealing with.