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Alex Linbo, left, and Nate Esboldt of Willmar brave sub-zero temperatures Thursday as they jog down Seventh Street Southwest in Willmar. As cold as it’s been of late, the weather is predicted to drop to dangerously low levels in the coming days. Tribune photo by Ron Adams

West Central Minnesota to be hit with Arctic blast

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WILLMAR — So Mother Nature is a tease.

What else is new?

West central Minnesotans will be pulled once again in a love-hate relationship that’s hot one minute — if you consider 20 degrees above zero hot — and cold the next.

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And by cold, we’re talking bitter cold, with a wind chill that could plunge to 50 degrees below zero on Monday morning.

Thanks to a high pressure system that came Thursday night, the area is expected to enjoy a “relative warming” today and early Saturday, said Joe Calderone, a forecaster with the National Weather Service in Chanhassen.

The air temperature could reach 20 degrees today, but clouds, a chance of blustery snow and strong southerly winds will keep the wind chill well below zero.

That tough love sets the region up for “pretty potent cold front swinging on through” that will bring “a strong surge of colder air.”

The high on Sunday could be about minus 9 and on Sunday night the temperature could get down to minus 26.

On Monday the high for the day is expected to be about 17 degrees below zero and the low could be about 27 below zero.

That will be accompanied by strong north winds that could gust to 25 mph and bring the wind chill factor to 45-50 degrees below zero, said Calderone, adding that care should be taken to make sure school children are adequately protected from the better wind chill Monday morning.

The cold will continue until Wednesday, when the high could be about 13 above zero.

While miserable, the state isn’t setting any records for cold temperatures, said Calderone.

But he said the “surge after surge after surge of arctic air” is creating a long stretch of continued cold weather.

As with all cold weather, people are urged to use caution and not have excessive skin exposure to the cold. The elderly, children and pets may be especially vulnerable in the bitter cold temperatures.

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Carolyn Lange
A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers county government and regional news with the West Central Tribune.
(320) 894-9750
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