Dangerous wind chills are expected to create a bone-chilling Saturday.
After a sunny and mild Friday with temperatures in the low 30s, the other shoe is going to drop Saturday afternoon as temperatures plummet.
Saturday morning, when ice fishing anglers are huddled on Hole-in-the-Day Bay, the wind may gust as high as 45 mph. Saturday’s warmest temperatures will be in the early morning, rising to a relatively warm high of 25 degrees by 8 a.m. and then falling dramatically as a clipper system moves through the region. There is a slight chance of snow with 1 to 2 inches falling, mainly north of Highway 2.
By late morning, the westerly wind will pick up to 15 to 25 mph. And by afternoon, the National Weather Service in Duluth expects the wind to shift to the northwest and pick up speed — to the tune of 20-30 mph.
The afternoon high may reach 4 degrees. Saturday night temperatures are expected to drop to 12 below and wind chill values may be 20 below to 40 below as the winds continue to blow from 10 to 20 mph and gust as high as 30 mph.
The National Weather Service had not issued a wind chill advisory for the lakes area as of Friday afternoon, but meteorologists in Duluth suspected they may have one coming as the wind combines with a frigid air temperatures surging in from Canada. The weather service reported hazardous wind chills may be a problem Sunday and Monday nights, as well.
There is a 20 percent chance of snow showers Sunday, but the day is expected to be mostly cloudy and cold. If the high reaches above zero for the day, it won’t be by much. Overnight lows on Sunday may drop to 19 below, depending on cloud cover. A layer of clouds may prevent the area from dropping to a more extreme chill.
But clear and sunny skies are predicted for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, meaning temperatures will be colder, perhaps a high near 7 below and an overnight low of 22 below.
The cold sunshine should continue Tuesday with the temperature perhaps rising as high as 0 degrees before dropped back down to 14 below.
The clouds return Wednesday along with a slight chance of snow. Wednesday is the first day in this stretch where the overnight low should be above zero and may even reach double digits and top out near 10 degrees.
As the Dispatch reported Wednesday, this is the coldest air to hit the lakes area in four years. On the bright side, it’s not as cold as it could be.
The coldest temperature recorded on these particular dates — Jan. 20 and Jan. 21 — was an air temperature of 43 below and 42 below in 1984.
According to the National Weather Service, the coldest winter days going back to 1899, came during the record-setting cold winter of 1996 when the air temperature in late January and early February ranged from 46 below to 54 below zero. The winter of 1982 was also a record setter for cold with air temps ranging from 42 below to 46 below zero.
The normal overnight temperature for this time of year is about 5 below with a high of 21 degrees. Sounds downright balmy.