The Free Press, Mankato, MN

State, national news

December 4, 2013

Cold snap felt across Rockies, Midwest

Heavy snow and ice has contributed to hundreds of traffic accidents around Minnesota

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A wintry storm pushing through the Rockies and Midwest is bringing bitterly cold temperatures and treacherous driving conditions blamed in at least six deaths as it threatens crops as far south as California.

The wind chill could drop to 30 degrees below zero in parts of Montana Wednesday while wind chills of minus 20 have already been recorded in the Nebraska Panhandle. Low temperatures in the Denver area were expected to drop below zero over the next several days.

The jet stream is much farther south than normal, allowing the cold air to push in from the Arctic and drop temperatures by 20 to 40 degrees below normal levels, AccuWeather meteorologist Tom Kines said.

Areas of Montana and the Dakotas were forecast to reach lows in the minus-20s, while Laramie, Wyo. is expected to see a low temperature of 28 below. The icy arctic blast was expected to be followed by another one later in the week, creating an extended period of cold weather that hasn't been seen since the late 1990s, meteorologists said.

In California's Central Valley, temperatures dropped into the upper 20s overnight, not enough to cause any damage to citrus crops. Citrus farmers, however, are anticipating colder temperatures overnight Wednesday and Thursday and are continuing to take precaution, said Bob Blakely, of California Citrus Mutual.

The unrelenting storm has spread about 2 feet of snow and brought daily activities to a grinding halt in northeastern Minnesota. The heavy snow and ice has contributed to hundreds of traffic accidents around the state and was cited in at least four fatal crashes since Monday. The storm closed the University of Minnesota Duluth and most other schools in the area and canceled holiday parties, Salvation Army bell ringing and a lutefisk dinner in Duluth, where over a foot of snow has fallen over three days.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State, national news
  • 1 hurt in fiery Twin Cities interstate crash ROSEVILLE, Minn. (AP) — Authorities say one person was hurt in a fiery crash involving four vehicles on a Twin Cities interstate. The crash on Interstate 35 brought morning traffic to a halt during a rainy commute. The Minnesota State Patrol says a

    July 25, 2014

  • Black box found at Air Algerie wreckage site PARIS (AP) — French soldiers recovered a black box from the Air Algerie wreckage site in a desolate region of restive northern Mali on Friday, officials said. Terrorism hasn't been ruled out as a cause, although officials say the most likely reason f

    July 25, 2014

  • Ukraine reports overnight rebel attacks on border MOSCOW (AP) — The Ukrainian army on Friday claimed that soldiers came under artillery fire from the Russian side of the border overnight and were attacked by rebels in several other places in the restive east. Ukrainian forces are trying to close in

    July 25, 2014

  • Deal still elusive for Gaza cease-fire CAIRO (AP) — Turbulent negotiations to broker a temporary truce in the Gaza Strip are continuing against the backdrop of fresh Israeli attacks on Palestinian militants. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met twice Friday in Cairo with U.N. chief Ban

    July 25, 2014

  • Transcript shows concerns during Arizona execution FLORENCE, Ariz. (AP) — U.S. District Judge Neil V. Wake was attending a ceremony for a judicial colleague when he received an urgent — and unusual — request: Lawyers for a condemned inmate wanted him to stop an execution that didn't seem to be workin

    July 25, 2014

  • Sniper-Author-Ventura [Duplicate] Day 3 of deliberations ends in Ventura lawsuit Jury has deliberated 19 hours

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man accused of stealing from group HASTINGS (AP) — An Apple Valley man is charged with five counts of theft for allegedly stealing more than $113,000 from a Rosemount youth athletics group. Sixty-two-year-old Robert Steven Reischauer was the former finance manager of the Rosemount Ar

    July 24, 2014

  • Sanders offers lower-cost bill to reform VA Bill would allow vets to go to private doctors

    July 24, 2014

  • Wetland Loss [Duplicate] Report says Prairie Pothole region losing wetlands BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Federal officials and conservationists say a recent report detailing wetland losses in the five-state Prairie Pothole Region over the past decade highlights the need for increased protection for the region that provides breeding

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • France: Air Algerie flight vanishes over N Mali ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) — An Air Algerie flight carrying 116 people from Burkina Faso to Algeria's capital disappeared from radar early Thursday over northern Mali, the plane's owner and a French government official said. Air navigation services lost

    July 24, 2014