Duluth wakes up to coldest morning of winter

School canceled due to extreme wind chills, but a warm-up coming fast

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Icicles neatly lined up in a row from a roof on a cold morning in Duluth.
Bob King / 2016 file / Duluth News Tribune

DULUTH — Arctic air spilled into the Northand overnight, spurring what is likely the coldest morning of winter in Duluth where the official temperature was 21 degrees below zero at 6 a.m., besting the previous low of 18 below on Jan. 29.

Data from the National Weather Service in Duluth showed International Falls hit 35 below zero this morning, with Cook reporting 33 below and Orr and Ely both at 29 below zero. It was 20 below in Aitkin, Cloquet and Moose Lake and 17 below zero in Superior and 12 below in Minneapolis.

Winds that had been gusting overnight, creating wind-chill levels near 50 below zero in some areas, were calming down this morning. The wind chill in Duluth at 7 a.m. was 40 below zero with an 8 mph north wind.

Schools canceled for the day Friday in some areas, including Duluth public schools, due to the extremely cold temperatures, with frostbite possible in just 10 minutes and children vulnerable as they walked even short distances to school or waited for buses. In Superior, school buildings are closed today, but students will attend classes virtually. Some other districts planned to open two or three hours later than usual.

High temperatures Friday will struggle to warm up to zero. But a rapid warm-up is expected starting over the weekend, with high temperatures in the 20s expected and then a February thaw for next week with high temperatures in the mid-30s. No major snowstorms are expected for the next week.

John Myers reports on the outdoors, natural resources and the environment for the Duluth News Tribune. You can reach him at
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