Another Cold Night for the Northland

Frigid Wind Chills in Store for the Northland


Although the first two weeks of January 2012 brought several record setting warm days, a cold snap with temperatures more seasonal for mid-January will be found through this week. 

Another chilly night will be found across the region with overnight temperatures falling into the teens below to middle 20s below zero. A few locations in the Minnesota Iron range and inland areas of the Arrowhead may dip as low as negative 30 F around day break Friday morning. 

Although there will be little or no wind to produce wind chill values, these temperatures are dangerous to those outdoors for a prolonged period of time. Under these conditions, frostbite can occur in 30 min or less. Frostbite may lead to hypothermia if not treated.

View Wind Chill Chart

During the winter of 2011-2012, several National Weather Service Offices in the upper midwest region, including Duluth office, will no longer issue Wind Chill Advisories or Wanrings. Instead, a new experimental product, the Extreme Cold Warning, will be issued for hazardous cold temperatures and/or wind chill readings. When extreme cold conditions are expected a day or two away, or values will approach but not reach the extreme cold criteria, a Special Weather Statement, will be issued.

Experimental Extreme Cold Warning Threshold:
  • Extreme Cold Warning: Air Temperature or Wind Chill Value of -40 F and lower
  • Special Weather Statement: Air Temperature or Wind Chill Value of -25 to -39 F
  • Old Wind Chill Advisory:  Wind chills -25 F below zero to 39 below.
  • Old Wind Chill Warning:  Wind chills -40 F and colder
Why the change?

On occasion, the air temperature falls well below zero with a calm wind. This results in no wind chill. In previous years without the Extreme Cold Warning product, there would be times when the air temperature would drop to negative 30 or lower with no wind. Therefore, no wind chill headline was issues and there was no product to highlight the hazardoud cold temperatures to the users. The experimental Extreme Cold Warning product will be issed in the rare situations where air temperatures fall to dangerous levels but there is little to no wind occurring as well as situations that include wind and dangerous wind chills.

Extreme Cold Warning will be issued as non-precipitation weather products (NPW) and will use NWS valid time event code (VTEC) EC.W for dissemination.


The National Weather Serivce would appreciate your feedback on this experimental product.

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