From fabulous to frigid: Mercury will plunge this weekend

MARSHALL – If you enjoyed the weather Thursday and reveled in it Friday, you’re sure to appreciate it today as well. After that, however, all bets are off.

In other words, come Sunday, it will be time to start wearing those layers again.

After a stretch of 30-degree-plus weather that began the day after Christmas and will continue through today, the deep freeze will return in a big way during the second half of the weekend.

Today’s high temperature is expected to reach into the mid- to upper-30s. The drop-off comes tonight when the mercury could dip to -10. Sunday’s high is projected to “reach” -6.

“This just happens to be a much sharper change from what we’re used to since it’s been warmer the last couple of days,” said Billy Williams, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service out of Sioux Falls, S.D. “The whole season’s been mostly like that with an upper-level ridge over the western U.S. that gives us alternate episodes of warming up and cooling down, warming up and cooling down. Once in a while, we’ll get a little snow with it.”

Where’s the relief, you ask. It won’t be noticeably warmer until Thursday.

“As many people in Minnesota and South Dakota say, ‘Don’t like the weather? Wait a little while, it will change,'” Williams said.

Williams said the snow cover blanketing Minnesota is playing a role in keeping temperatures below normal. He noted that Sioux City, Iowa, reached into the 50s this week because there is no snow cover there.

The trade-off for this arctic blast is there are no signs of pending snowstorms.

“This particular episode, we’ll stay in a generally dry pattern,” Williams said. “Some cold fronts come in with a surprising amount of snow, but we don’t have that rich source of gulf moisture from the south this time around; it’s kind of blocked us off from the snow. But we’ll continue to have these up-and-down temperatures.”

Williams said there are no major snowstorms on tap for the region and above normal temperatures will find their way into Minnesota for much of January and February.

“Mainly just watch out for the cold and windchill,” he said. “It might be a much sharper change (in temperatures) than you’re used to.”