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Extreme cold blankets the area

January 10, 2014

 Its time to turn off the air conditioner! Frigid temperatures over the past week have created hardships on  equipment, people and animals.  
 FULDA FREE PRESS/Darcy Uttech
FULDA FREE PRESS/Darcy Uttech
Its time to turn off the air conditioner! Frigid temperatures over the past week have created hardships on equipment, people and animals.
By Carol Schreiber
Governor Mark Dayton cancelled all public school classes statewide on Monday due to the forecasted extreme cold. Dayton issued the order Friday morning. He says the safety of Minnesota's school children is the state's first priority. Dayton reminds all Minnesotans to be cautious about the weather.

Temperatures were indeed cold, bitterly cold, and children and many others remained indoors on Monday. High temperatures on Monday were expected to be in the minus teens, and didn't get much warmer than that.

On Tuesday, many area schools delayed classes, allowing time for the temperatures to raise slightly, and the wind speeds to decrease further.

This is the first time a Minnesota governor has closed schools in response to cold weather since former Governor Arne Carlson canceled schools in January 18, 1994, February 2, 1996 and January 16, 1997 due to the weather.

The coldest windchill ever seen in the Twin Cities or Minnesota can be a little tricky because in November 2001 the formula on how to calculate the windchill was changed. The new Wind Chill Temperature (WCT) index is designed to more accurately calculate how cold air feels on human skin. The index is based on heat loss from exposed skin and was tested on human subjects.

The Wind Chill Chart includes a frostbite indicator, showing the points where temperature, wind speed and exposure time will produce frostbite on humans.

Perhaps the coldest windchill the Twin Cities has ever seen was -67 degrees F with the new formula (-87 degrees F with the old formula) back on January 22, 1936. The temperature was -34 degrees F with a wind speed of 20mph. Without a lengthy state-wide wind record, it is difficult to say when was the coldest statewide windchill. There are some candidate dates though besides January 22, 1936. On January 9 and 10, 1982 temperatures of -30 degrees F and winds of around 40mph were reported in Northern Minnesota. This would translate to -71 degrees F by the new formula (-100 degrees F by the old formula.)

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