About 100,000 residential customers in North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin were able to crank their thermostats back above 60 degrees Monday after a utility lifted its appeal for natural gas conservation following a weekend explosion in Canada that knocked out three pipelines.
Another round of subzero temperatures, high winds and drifting snow forced most Minnesota schools to stay closed Monday, with Minneapolis and St. Paul public schools already canceling classes for Tuesday.
Meteorologist Mike Augustyniak once again traded a few barbs with the morning crew from KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO in southern California on Monday morning. The last time Augustyniak talked with Dick Helton and the rest of them was during our blisteringly cold Christmas Eve.
The Minnesota Department of Transportation is reopening some major roadways closed earlier because of blowing and drifting snow. Interstate 90 west of Albert Lea reopened Monday morning after snowplows cleared the lanes and winds subsided.
The extreme cold isn’t just uncomfortable. It’s becoming expensive, too, especially for homeowners in rural Minnesota who rely on propane to heat their homes. Prices jumped last fall, and with several subzero nights this winter, the cost of propane continues to climb.
It’s a busy Friday afternoon at Parc Boutique in northeast Minneapolis. Racks full of women’s fashions greet the customers. But Parc’s owner, Thao Nguyen, says the recent cold snap has hurt her in-store sales. “It’s harder for people to come into the shop,” Nguyen said. Just like how tornadoes and hurricanes disrupt economic activity, there is also a steep cost to our cold weather. The lower the temperature drops, the fewer of us venture outside to shop, dine and recreate.
As cold as it might be, we’re still a long way from joining the ranks of the coldest Minnesota winters.
Another band of arctic air is descending into the northern U.S., bringing a wave of frigid temperatures expected to linger for most of the week. Temperatures plunged below zero in North Dakota and northern Minnesota on Monday morning.
The polar vortex that gripped much of the country has moved on, but don’t get too comfortable — another round of frigid air is expected to arrive next week across the northern U.S., from the Dakotas eastward to New England. It’ll be cold, but not the life-threatening cold of last week.
Being warm and comfortable in your home this winter could come with a higher price. Greater energy usage translates to bigger bills. Xcel Energy customers used about 29 percent more natural gas this past December than in December 2012. Customers used about 19 percent more natural gas than expected for December.
Schools canceled classes for a second day as dangerous arctic air kept an icy grip on Minnesota where at least one hospital saw a record number of frostbite cases. At Regions Hospital in St. Paul, 14 people were treated for frostbite and eight patients suffered from hypothermia in the last two days.
On a brutal day in Minnesota, our temperature is similar to Antarctica, or the peak of Mount Everest.
As cold as it’s been in Minnesota, no records have fallen. The Minneapolis record that forecasters had considered the most threatened was for the coldest high temperature for this date, which was 14 degrees below zero in 1909.
Minnesota’s deep freeze has caused a surge of cold-related cases at Regions Hospital in St. Paul. Spokeswoman Kristin Kauffmann says the Regions emergency room had seen five people for frostbite and five for hypothermia by 10 a.m. Monday.
As Gov. Mark Dayton’s decision to mandate all public schools be closed for Monday, many parents may be left wondering how to keep their children busy this afternoon. One potential and thrifty option was just announced at the Mall of America, where the Nickelodeon Universe amusement park will be offering free rides all day.
Monday’s frigid temperatures are creating extra work for heating repair companies. CenterPoint Energy has tripled its staff since Sunday and technicians are working around the clock. Smaller heating repair companies are also seeing a big boost in business.
A whirlpool of frigid, dense air known as a “polar vortex” descended Monday into much of the U.S., pummeling parts of the country with a dangerous cold that could break decades-old records with wind chill warnings stretching from Montana to Alabama.
Hundreds of school districts, businesses and government offices are closed as an arctic blast plunged temperatures to subzero lows not seen in nearly two decades in Minnesota. The National Weather Service posted a wind chill warning through Tuesday. Forecasters say wind chill temperatures are expected to drop as low as 65 below zero.
The promoter for this weekend’s boxing event in the Twin Cities was none other than one of the greatest boxers ever — former heavyweight champ and all-around sports icon Mike Tyson. Tyson sat down with WCCO’s David McCoy for a one-on-one interview. Here are highlights from their Q&A together.
Monday’s polar vortex is plunging millions of homes into dangerously cold conditions. Water pipes can burst, furnaces can be overworked, and carbon monoxide can build up if you’re using a fireplace that’s not properly ventilated. The CDC has a list of precautions that can help keep you safe during the subzero snap.
“Brutal cold is coming,” the weather man announced with urgency. “Temps will dip to 18 overnight,” he warned. That was just a few days ago as I watched a local TV station while visiting relatives in New York. Coming home to a forecast of lows of minus 20-something, I winced.
The Minnesota Zoo will be closed to the public Monday because of the expected dangerously cold weather. The zoo’s one-day shutdown follows Gov. Mark Dayton’s decision to cancel all public school classes statewide Monday. Zoo Director Lee Ehmke says the decision was made to encourage people to stay home.
Gov. Mark Dayton has ordered all Minnesota public schools to close statewide Monday as dangerous cold looms. Forecasters are expecting frigid temperatures to arrive Sunday night and stay through Tuesday morning. Wind chill readings could plummet to 60 degrees below zero Monday morning.
Struggling to get above zero is less than ideal, especially when you spend more time getting dressed for the weather than actually being in it. But believe it or not, the cold does have some health benefits. We have the flu bug, but no other bugs to deal with, according to Dr. Christina Manders, a family physician with Fairview Clinics in Savage. “We don’t see Lyme disease, we don’t see West Nile. So tick-borne infections, mosquito-borne infections are not a factor,” Manders said.
Power has been restored to thousands of residents in south Minneapolis who lost service over the weekend. With temperatures below zero degrees, crews are racing to restore service to those who are still in the dark.