Dangerously cold temperatures blanket Northland, warnings in effect

According to the National Weather Service in Duluth, wind chill values reached 25-44 degrees below zero.

Sunrise and sundog over Island Lake
The sun and one of two sundogs shine on Island Lake at 20 degrees below zero Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2022.
Steve Kuchera / Duluth News Tribune

Many Northlanders might have woke to bitterly cold temperatures Tuesday morning following an equally freezing Monday night.

According to the National Weather Service in Duluth, temperatures across Minnesota reached as low as 20 below zero. Wind chill reached 25-44 degrees below zero.

The Weather Service issued wind chill advisories and warnings for portions of north-central and Northwestern Wisconsin and east-central and Northeastern Minnesota until noon Tuesday. The Weather Service warns that dangerously cold temperatures will return Tuesday night and follow into Wednesday morning.

Man bundled up against the cold
A bundled-up and frost-covered Will Bishop exhales a cloud of mist while clearing snow by the downtown Duluth library in sub-zero temperatures Dec. 29, 2021.
Steve Kuchera / File / Duluth News Tribune

The National Weather Service issued wind chill warnings as of 3:22 a.m. for the following Northland counties:

  • Southern Lake County 
  • Northern Aitkin County 
  • South Aitkin County 
  • Carlton County 
  • South St. Louis County 
  • Pine County 
  • Douglas County 
  • Bayfield County 
  • Ashland County 
  • Iron County 
  • Burnett County 
  • Washburn County 
  • Sawyer County 
  • Price County 

Wind chill warnings also include the following cities:


  • Two Harbors 
  • Silver Bay 
  • Hill City 
  • Aitkin 
  • Duluth 
  • Pine City 
  • Hinckley 
  • Superior 
  • Washburn 
  • Hurley 
  • Grandsburg 
  • Spooner 
  • Hayward 
  • Philips 

Recent temperatures are slightly lower than normal, but not radical. The length of below-normal temperatures for the past four to five weeks is notable, the National Weather Service said. Given the current forecast, January 2022 is likely to set the record for the coldest January since 2014.
The Duluth Fire Department warned community members on Facebook about frostbite risk, which can occur in 10-20 minutes. The public is advised to dress in layers, cover their faces and fingers, and avoid spending long periods of time outside.

The University of Minnesota Duluth has issued a SAFE-U alert canceling in-person classes and was working under reduced operations until 10 a.m. Tuesday. During reduced operations, faculty and staff are also advised not to come into work unless deemed essential.

Abigael Smith is a former reporter for the Duluth News Tribune.
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