MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Christmas morning brought a blast of arctic cold to Minnesota, with subzero temperatures and wind chills reaching close to 40 below up north.

The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill advisory for much of the state. Those venturing outside are encouraged to bundle up and shield their skin from frostbite, which can set in within 15 minutes when wind chills are between 20 below and 35 below.

In the state’s northern-most counties, a wind chill warning is in effect until Tuesday. Wind chills are expected to be between 30 below to 45 below. In such conditions, frostbite can affect exposed skin in as little as 10 minutes.

Amid the cold (and holiday festivities) pets are not to be forgotten. Weather officials say that in such frigid temperatures even outdoor pets will need shelter.

Overnight, it’s going to get even colder, with temperatures dropping into the negative double digits in areas across the state.

But even though temperatures will remain chilly on Tuesday, the winds will calm, making the arctic air a bit more bearable for those headed back to work.

It’s been 20 years since Christmas has been this cold in Minnesota. The last time it was this chilly was in 1996, when the high was 9 below zero and the low was 22 below zero.

But although the weather brought a taste of the North Pole to the Midwest, it also brought a white Christmas for most Minnesotans. The only areas not to have at least an inch of snow on the ground for the holiday were in west central Minnesota.

Looking ahead, there’s no warm up coming ahead of the New Year, and next weekend looks to be frigid. Meanwhile, next chance for snow looks to be on Thursday.

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