Record cold for northern Minn.: 40 below
By JEFF BAENEN, Associated Press WriterMon Feb 11, 10:43 PM ET
It lived up to its name: The temperature in International Falls fell
to 40 below zero Monday, just a few days after the northern Minnesota
town won a federal trademark making it officially the “Icebox of the
It was so cold that resident Nick McDougall couldn’t get his car
trunk to close after he got out his charger to kick-start his dead
battery. By late morning, the temperature had risen all the way to 18 —
“This is about as cold as it gets, this is bad. There’s no wind —
it’s just cold,” said McDougall, 48, a worker at The Fisherman, a
convenience store and gas station in the town on the Canadian border.
“People just don’t go out, unless you have to go to work.”
Residents of the area use electric engine block heaters to keep their cars from freezing.
“You plug in your car, for sure, and you put the car in the garage
if you can,” McDougall said. His garage is full of other things, so he
had to park outside — a “big mistake.”
The previous record low for Feb. 11 in International Falls was 37
below, set in 1967, said meteorologist Mike Stewart at the weather
service in Duluth.
The temperature also fell to 40 below in Embarrass, 80 miles
southeast of International Falls. That’s just one degree above the
all-time record in Minneapolis, 250 miles to the south, that was set in
January 1888, the weather service said.
It was also a cold day in Winter. The town in northwest Wisconsin chilled to a low of 25 below.
“You don’t want to be out there too long,” said Winter area resident Bill Warner, 37.
The chilly air also blew into the Northeast on Monday and many
schools in New York state between Buffalo and Syracuse closed or opened
late. Single-digit temperatures plus wind drove the wind chill factor
to nearly 20 below across much of upstate New York.
New York state got more than 3 feet of lake-effect snow Monday along
the east end of Lake Ontario as the cold wind picked up moisture from
the lake. “The highway crews are having a difficult time keeping up
with the amount of snow and blowing conditions,” said Oswego Town
Supervisor Victoria Mullen.
South of the coldest air mass, freezing rain hit southwest Missouri,
making roads hazardous and closing schools. Ice was more than an inch
thick in places, authorities said. Several thousand lost electricity in
the Springfield area when lines iced over and ice-covered limbs crashed
onto power lines.
“It’s treacherous” Missouri Highway Patrol Sgt. Dan Bracker said in Springfield.
As the precipitation moved eastward out of Missouri, the weather
service posted winter storm and snow warnings for parts of Kentucky,
Indiana and Ohio.
Hundreds of West Virginia homes and businesses had no electricity
Monday, down from several thousand, after weekend wind gusts of up to
55 mph. At least nine counties closed schools because of power outages
and the cold. The mountain city of Elkins had a low of 6 above.
Classes also were canceled Monday for a number of schools in
Michigan, which remained in a deep freeze after a weekend of
single-digit temperatures and gusty wind. One death was blamed on the
Associated Press writer Marcus Kabel in Springfield, Mo., contributed to this report.