The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

January 5, 2014

Deep freeze starts to bite in Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS — A deep freeze that that the National Weather Service called "historic and dangerous" arrived in Minnesota on Sunday with even colder temperatures on tap for Monday.

Temperatures were in the single digits below zero in the Twin Cities area Sunday afternoon, with wind chills in the mid-to-high 20s below zero.

It was even colder in northern Minnesota, where the weather service reported temperatures in the teens and 20s below zero and wind chills in the 30s and 40s below zero in several cities. Temperatures just barely broke into the single digits above zero in southeastern Minnesota. A few dozen churches canceled Sunday services around the state as Minnesota residents hunkered down.

Extremely cold temperatures were expected Sunday night with overnight lows dipping to between 25 below and 40 below, and wind chills plummeting to between 55 below and 60 below, the weather service said.

Because of the anticipated bitter weather, Gov. Mark Dayton on Friday ordered all public schools statewide to close Monday, a step no governor had taken since Arne Carlson called off classes Jan. 16, 1997. Carlson had also closed schools twice before, in 1996 and 1994. Many private schools not covered by Dayton's order will be closed Monday too, along with several ski areas and parks. Some companies have told their employees to stay home, including Maplewood-based 3M Co.

Wind chill warnings cover the state through Tuesday. The forecast calls for a warming trend starting around midweek.

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