There is light at the end of the tunnel as the bitterly cold wind chills are expected to die down sometime Friday, Feb. 14, in the Brainerd lakes area.
Wind chills began to pick up to double digits just before 2 p.m. Wednesday and continued through the overnight into Thursday. Many schools around the state closed due to the dangerous wind chills, including Little Falls schools and Nay Ah Shing School in Mille Lacs, along with schools in the St. Cloud area, Twin Cities metro and southern Minnesota.
Brainerd Public Schools continued as scheduled.
According to the National Weather Service in Duluth, the highest temperature Wednesday in Brainerd was recorded at 8:42 a.m. at 27 degrees and the low of 10 below zero was recorded at 11:59 p.m. The normal high temperature on this day is 26 degrees with a low of 5. A record high of 49 degrees was recorded in 2011 and 34 below zero, the date’s record low, was in 1916.
Just before 6 a.m. Thursday the air temperature was 18 below zero and the wind chill was 36 below zero, which hovered for a few hours, as students arrived at school and people made it to work if they started at 8 a.m. The wind chill then slowly died down a bit to about 26-20 below zero by early Thursday afternoon.
A high near 17 degrees is in the forecast for Valentine's Day — and that is above zero. Wind chill values, however, are expected to be between 25-35 below zero, as a south wind of 5-10 mph increases to 15-20 mph in the afternoon.
Friday during the overnight, there is a chance of snow before 3 a.m., with a slight chance of snow and freezing rain. Temperatures are expected to rise to about 19 by 1 a.m., with wind gusts as high as 30 mph.
The weekend forecast should warm residents up a bit, as the Saturday high is expected to be about 29 degrees, with a west wind of 5-10 mph, and wind gusts as high as 20 mph. The warmer temperature won’t last, as Saturday night’s low is about 2 and the wind gusts are expected to continue.
The winds die down Sunday, with a high expected near 18 degrees and a low around 8 degrees.