A wind shift early morning signaled a new batch of cold air was arriving Wednesday. After the front headed south, the skies cleared, but the northwest winds were importing Arctic air.
High temperatures Wednesday were the coldest in five weeks, and for only the second time all season, the high failed to go beyond 25-degrees.
This air has its origins from northern Minnesota and Wisconsin, where actual air temperatures fell to -30°. Lows dipped to -33° at Cook and -31° at Orr and Bigfork, Minnesota.
The clear skies overhead led to another fantastic sunset. Below are few of the scenes our cameras captured during Wednesday's western horizon.
All the ingredients are in place for these temperatures to tank quickly after sunset: snow cover, clear skies and winds that will go nearly calm. Many area temperatures will fall well into the single digits, with perhaps a few of the traditionally colder locations outlying nearing zero by Thursday morning.
QUIET AND MILDER SPELL
The pattern is changing again, and this arctic air is not long-lived. We will once again sever ties with the arctic branch of the jet stream for the next week. That means a warming trend is getting underway.
With such a expansive snow cover across the nation (48%), the milder air will be modified, meaning the snow will tend to slow down the warming. We are expecting a warmer than average pattern through Christmas day, with little to no precipitation expected. Afternoon temperature will climb back above 40-degrees and possibly reach a 50-degree day or two before the end of the year.
The snow on the ground is in jeopardy of melting away before Christmas with a daily thaw and a nighttime freeze through next Wednesday. There looks to be no significant storms coming our way for the next seven days. We are eyeing a large scale pattern change again as the new year opens. Stay tuned.