FARGO — On Thursday afternoon, Dec. 5, the temperature in the Fargo-Moorhead area was just below freezing at 30 degrees above zero.
In a few days, the area may look back upon that time with nostalgia.
Arctic cold from Canada is heading for the Red River Valley and beginning around Sunday, temperatures are expected to turn much colder than they have been.
By Monday, the high in the Fargo-Moorhead area may only reach about 5 above, while the high temperature on Tuesday may be about minus 1, according to John Hoppes, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Forks.
Typically, high temperatures for this time of year hover around 26 degrees, according to Hoppes, who said things are expected to warm a little by Thursday, when the high temp could reach 10 above.
Snow is not expected to be a major factor with the weather in coming days, but Hoppes said the area could see some snow Sunday and Monday, with the best chance of accumulation occurring in the southern valley near the North Dakota-South Dakota border.
Winds could be gusty Sunday through Monday, Hoppes said, adding that with temperatures expected to rise to only a few degrees above zero Monday it won't take much of a breeze for the windchill factor to become significant.
Hoppes said the low temperature Tuesday night could fall to minus 15 or colder, with the high Wednesday is expected to be around zero.
John Wheeler, chief meteorologist with WDAY-TV, said the coming cold will be the first time this winter the area has experienced raw arctic air and whenever that happens it can create unpredictable weather in spots.
He said that can include strong winds and snow accumulations in spots, though he added it was too early to predict if such conditions will spring up as the cold air reaches the region.
"It's something everybody needs to keep an eye on," Wheeler said.