Snow and wind first, then bitter cold

    Our balmy, even pleasant post-holiday season stretch of weather is coming to a screeching halt, with snow and wind Wednesday and into Thursday to be followed by another Arctic blast of frigid temperatures.

    The National Weather Service early Wednesday upgraded a winter storm watch for Crookston and the surrounding region to a winter storm warning. For Crookston, the warning kicked in at noon Wednesday and as of now is scheduled to remain in place until noon on Thursday.

    The storm system isn’t packing a whole lot of snow. The Crookston area is supposed to get around 2 to 5 inches. With the mild temperatures lingering, it’s possible the precipitation will begin with freezing rain Wednesday afternoon before turning to snow. It’ll be blown around by wind gusts up to 45 miles per hour, creating near-blizzard conditions in open areas and dangerous wind chills.

    Once the system moves on, it’ll leave cold behind, with daytime highs below zero and morning lows in the 25 below range.