Hibbing experienced its coldest Veterans Day ever on Monday.
The city’s high temperature was 9, said Josh Sandstrom, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Duluth. That obliterated the old record of 15, set in 1986.
In Duluth, meanwhile, the high was 16, tying the old record set in 1920, Sandstrom said.
In spite of the December-like cold, Duluth didn’t have an overnight warming center available for its homeless population this week.
As the News Tribune reported earlier this month, Gloria Dei Lutheran Church is preparing to offer space in its Central HIllside neighborhood church as a warming center, and the faith-based agency CHUM is working with St. Louis County to provide a second center at a to-be-determined site.
But neither of those places is ready to accept overnight guests, city of Duluth spokeswoman Kate Van Daele said on Monday. Gloria Dei is expected to be able to function as a warming center in December, and it’s hoped the second site will be ready by the first of the year, she said.
CHUM itself provides a shelter year-round at its Central Hillside location, but it is often filled beyond its planned capacity.
Last winter, a warming center was available on the coldest nights at City Center West in West Duluth. The center was open a total of 29 nights in January, February and March when temperatures were expected to drop below zero.
By that criteria, a warming center wouldn’t have been open anyway on Sunday night, as the temperature bottomed out at 8 degrees by Monday morning. But the low from Monday night to Tuesday morning was expected to reach zero, Sandstrom said.
The City Center West site was well-received, but wasn’t equipped for overnight use. So technically, people weren’t allowed to sleep there.
Meanwhile, a warming center is open in Superior.
The Ruth House, at a new location at 632 Grand Ave., opened as an overnight warming center last week and plans to stay open during this week’s cold snap, said Chrissy Foster, program coordinator for Walking Victorious Ministries.
Foster said five to 10 people have used the warming center each night. It has the capacity to provide overnight shelter to as many as 50, she said. It opens every night the temperature drops to 20 degrees or below.
Hibbing was the only Northland community to have its lowest-ever reading for a high temperature on Nov. 11. Sandstrom said the high in Ashland was 18 on Monday; the previous record was 20 in 1950. In International Falls, the high temperature was 11, but that beat the 9-degree high recorded in 1995.
Winds made conditions feel even colder. The lowest wind chill recorded in Duluth was -6, Sandstrom said, and in Hibbing it was -14.
The wind across Lake Superior also brought snow to the South Shore, he said, with more than 10 inches having fallen in Gile, Wis., by 5:30 p.m., and up to several inches more expected.
Temperatures overnight in the region were expected to approach record lows, Sandstrom said, but it wasn’t expected that any records would be broken. Highs on Tuesday are only expected to reach the teens in Duluth.
But that will be the beginning of a warming trend, Sandstrom said, with highs expected in the 20s on Wednesday, the low 30s on Thursday and the mid-30s by the weekend. Those high temperatures actually would be slightly above normal for this time of the year.
The Superior Telegram's Maria Lockwood contributed to this report
To learn more
The warming center is open to men, women and children. The doors close at 10 p.m., but anyone seeking shelter after that time can call (218) 409-3766 to alert volunteers they are coming.