Historic Wind Chill Temperatures in Minnesota
What is the coldest windchill ever seen in the Twin Cities or Minnesota? The answer can be a little tricky because on November 2001 the formula on how to calculate the windchill was changed. Perhaps the coldest windchill the Twin Cities has ever seen was -67 degrees F with the new formula (-87 degrees F with the old formula) back on January 22nd 1936. The temperature was -34 degrees F with a wind speed of 20mph. All traffic in the Twin Cities was severely hampered and a number of fatalities were caused by the cold. Without a lengthy state-wide wind record, it is difficult to say when was the coldest statewide windchill. There are some candidate dates though besides January 22, 1936. On January 9th and 10th, 1982 temperatures of -30 degrees F and winds of around 40mph were reported in Northern Minnesota. This would translate to -71 degrees F by the new formula (-100 degrees F by the old formula.)
A few other recent notable cold wind chill temperature events are:
February 3, 1989 saw some of the coldest wind chill temperatures over the past 20 years. at 6am in the Twin Cities the air temperature was -22 degrees F with a wind speed of 17mph, creating a wind chill temperature of -49 degrees F (by the 2001 formula).
On January 18, 1994 Governor Arne Carlson ordered all Minnesota public schools closed due to the extreme cold and severe winter weather. Morning air temperature readings were -26 degrees F in the Twin Cities at 9am with a wind chill temperature of -48 degrees F (by the 2001 formula).
On the same date that the Minnesota state record minimum temperature record was set on February 2, 1996 (-60 near Tower) Governor Arne Carlson cancelled schools for cold a second time. In the Twin Cities at 6am February 2, 1996 the air temperature was -30 degrees F with a wind chill temperature of -48 degrees F (based on the 2001 forumula).
Governor Carlson cancelled schools for a third time on January 16, 1997. Wind Chill Temperatures were -32 degrees F in the Twin Cities.
The first wind chill warning that was issued for the Twin Cities under the new wind chill temperature formula established in 2001 was the arctic outbreak of January 29-30, 2004. The coldest windchill observed in the Twin Cities during that period was -43 degrees F at 8am on January 30, 2004.
In the wake of a winter storm on February 17, 2006, strong high pressure moved in behind it and created strong winds and dangerous windchills. The coldest windchill seen at the Twin Cities International Airport was -34 degrees F . The coldest windchill found statewide was -54 degrees F at Thief River Falls.