Over the Christmas weekend, local residents were subjected to a burst of frigid air that made this Christmas a little colder than in years past. For most of Monday, the average temperature hovered at 2 below, with a high of 7 and a low of -11 °F. If this wasn’t bad enough, wind gusts approaching 30 miles per hour created a wind chill of over 20 below.
While the cold weather might seem bad, it still pales in comparison to the Christmas record in Granite Falls, set in 1968, when the temperature reached 20 below without windchill, according to the National Weather Service.
The freezing cold air was brought in over the weekend by a low pressure front from the northwest, and is expected to persist through the New Year, and possibly later. Thursday will be a little warmer, with a high of 18, but by next weekend, a clearing cloud cover will pull temperatures back down again.
If Granite Falls residents thought it was bad here, they should consider themselves lucky that they don’t live in the northern two-thirds of the state. Wind chills sometimes ducked below 40 below there, and Minnesotans were pounded by cold air coming north from Canada.
Most of the state can expect to remain in a windchill advisory for the rest of December. Residents are advised to stay indoors whenever possible, and to avoid unnecessary trips outside. The combination of low temperatures and high wind can freeze exposed skin in under 10 minutes.
For some residents, the cold weather isn’t all bad. The region received several inches of snowfall, and more flurries are expected throughout the week. Once things get a little warmer, you can be sure young and old alike will flock to the outdoors to finally take advantage of the winter wonderland.