Rochester, MN (KROC AM News) -Temperatures have been falling and winds have been increasing across southern Minnesota as a strong front is beginning to move east across the state.

Some cities were reporting temperature drops of 15 degrees in a matter of a few hours early Thursday and NW winds have been clocked at nearly 50 mph.

The front passed through Mankato around 3:30 Thursday morning and will likely hit the Rochester area before noon.

Temperatures will fall below zero Thursday afternoon and winds will remain brisk into the evening. Overnight low temperatures in the Rochester area are expected to be below zero the next several days.

Even colder weather is possible next week with high temps around -5 degrees Tuesday and near 10 below Wednesday. Morning temperatures on Wednesday could be near -20 degrees, which would be the coldest of the winter.

News update: Hormel wants to give its reward contribution to Jayme Closs.