BEMIDJI -- Frigid air and freezing gusts of wind are here to stay for at least another week.
On Tuesday, the National Weather Service in Grand Forks set a wind chill warning in effect for northwest Minnesota, including Bemidji and surrounding communities, the Grand Forks area, Roseau and Thief River Falls. The warning, in place until noon on Sunday, states that wind chills may be as low as 50 below zero.
Another warning, set by the National Weather Service's office in Duluth, is also predicting wind chills as low as 50 below for northeast Minnesota for communities, including Duluth, Ely, Hibbing and International Falls. Both warnings note the wind chills can cause frostbite to exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes.
Daniel Robinson, a lead meteorologist at the Grand Forks office said the weather is a second surge of cold air coming from Canada.
"Once we get into the later part of the weekend, we might start turning the corner and see temperatures peak out of the sub-zero range," Robinson said. "From a temperature standpoint, the coldest days of the week are going to be Thursday night into Saturday morning. On days where the air temperature is a bit warmer, though, the wind can be higher, so the wind chills still will be hovering around -40."
The first surge of cold weather hit the Bemidji region the hardest on Sunday morning, with a recorded wind chill of 47 below and an air temperature of 27 below. The drop in temperatures came after mild weather in December and January.
For the week ahead, the Grand Forks office has also set a wind chill advisory until noon on Sunday for areas south of Bemidji. Wind chills as low as 45 below are predicted for Brainerd, Detroit Lakes, the Fargo-Moorhead area, Fergus Falls and Park Rapids.
Areas farther south in Minnesota, such as St. Cloud and the Twin Cities metro, are also expected to have a long prolonged stretch of cold temperatures and wind chills. The latter for those areas are ranging from 20 below to 35 below.
"Current indications show the cold may hold on a little longer, but most data has us getting above zero for a daytime high next week, even though the lows may remain below zero during the night," Robinson said.