A chilling weekendIt was a bitterly cold weekend in Douglas County. Not just your typical Minnesota January cold, but the teeth-chattering, bone-numbing, freeze-your-skin-off variety that snowbirds living in Arizona would smile warmly about.
By: Al Edenloff, Alexandria Echo Press
It was a bitterly cold weekend in Douglas County.
Not just your typical Minnesota January cold, but the teeth-chattering, bone-numbing, freeze-your-skin-off variety that snowbirds living in Arizona would smile warmly about.
The cold spell hit quickly on Saturday, dropping the temperature from a balmy 35 degrees all the way down to 4-below zero in a matter of hours.
It was compounded by brisk winds of 50 miles per hour or more. In Alexandria, the peak gust was 56 miles per hour, making any outdoor activity painful, if not dangerous.
Wind-chill warnings were in effect for much of Minnesota.
The high winds caused blowing and drifting snow and limited visibility, prompting the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office to issue a travel advisory on Saturday night.
The sheriff’s office responded to numerous crashes and reports of vehicles in ditches. None caused serious injuries.
The Arctic-like conditions persisted on Sunday. Temperatures only rose to 3-above before plunging down to 11-below zero – 14 degrees colder than the normal temperature this time of year.
Monday was worse. Temperatures dropped to 16-below zero and icy winds made it feel more like 40-below.
Monday was the coldest day in Alexandria since a four-day cold-snap in January of 2011, when temperatures dropped to 21-below on January 20, 26-below on January 21, 18-below on January 22 and 19-below on January 23.
Tuesday wasn’t much better. Although the wind died down to a whisper, temperatures remained in the deep freeze, falling to 17-below zero in Alexandria.
Schools throughout Douglas County were delayed two hours.
There is some relief in sight. The forecast calls for warmer air and near average temperatures to return by Saturday and Sunday.