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.
In just 24 hours, the temperature managed to drop 50 degrees in the Twin Cities. While families were outside Saturday enjoying record highs, the ice rinks and lakes were vacant Sunday. One place some chose to brave the bitter temps was the Como Zoo in St. Paul.
Medical experts say you should stay inside instead of braving the bitterly cold weather on Sunday. Dr. Gary Mayeux, an emergency physician at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, says you need to dress appropriately if you’re going to be outside, even for just a few minutes. “Anytime you’re talking negative-degree temperatures, it can be a matter of only a few minutes before you developed signs of frostbite,” Mayeux said. “You see it in the news recently, it can sometimes even develop into amputations of the area that are involved, so it can be very serious and life threatening.”
Meteorologist Mike Augustyniak had some fun with the morning crew from KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO in southern California Tuesday morning. Augustyniak talked with Dick Helton about the blisteringly cold Christmas Eve conditions in Minnesota.
Minnesotans are dealing with arctic cold heading into Christmas Eve. The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill warning for west-central Minnesota through noon Tuesday. The rest of the state is under a wind chill advisory.
Several states in the upper Midwest are dealing with significantly higher prices for propane because of a supply problem caused by a late harvest, persistent very cold temperatures and the temporary shutdown of a major supply pipeline.
The National Weather Service says wind chills in South Dakota are dipping to near 40 below. Readings hit 39 below in Huron and 33 below in Sioux Falls at 5 a.m. Monday. The northern part of the state has been under a wind chill warning.