Frigid wind gusts, up to 45 mph, howled through the Brainerd lakes area Thursday.
The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory for the region. A passing strong low pressure system was responsible for the wind gusts across southern Cass, all of Crow Wing and southern Aitkin counties with sustained winds of 30 mph, not to mention the gusts of 40-45 mph.
The wind was expected to make driving difficult, especially for high-profile vehicles.
Thursday afternoon the strong winds were whipping up a sand storm across the Costco construction site.
The wind will die down but the cooler temperatures will remain. A slight chance of snow in the forecast for late Thursday and Friday pales in comparison to the significant snowfall in the state farther north. A winter weather advisory was issued for Koochiching, nothern Itasca and northern St. Louis counties with 3 to 6 inches of snow expected.
The temperature change, though predicted, is a 40-degree drop from nearly 80 degrees Wednesday to an expected high of 39 degrees Friday. The normal high for this time of year is 61 degrees. The Wednesday high of 77 degrees was shy of the record set in 1922 when the temperature reached 82 degrees.
On the bright side, the sun should return Saturday. Air temperatures will remain cool with a forecasted high of 45 degrees and low of 25 degrees. But expect a rebound next week with highs in the 50s and overnight lows above freezing.
The extended forecast doesn’t hold out much hope for a respite from the dry conditions with a 20 percent chance of snow Friday and just a slight chance of showers Monday and Tuesday.