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'Bundle up or stay inside': Warning as dangerously cold weekend begins

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Minnesotans are being warned to "bundle up or stay inside" this weekend as temperatures plummet, bringing "dangerously low" wind chills to the state.

Forecasters have been warning this week the state is about to get its coldest bout of winter weather this weekend, and on Saturday morning the National Weather Service has been detailing just how cold it's likely to get.

Starting Friday night, it has said temperatures in the Twin Cities are expected to be at or below zero for 80 straight hours lasting through to Tuesday morning.

The coldest snap is likely to be Sunday morning, when wind chills in the metro area could plunge to a teeth-chattering 35 below. In St. Cloud it could reach 40 below and in west central it could go as low as 45 below.

The Pioneer Press reports the NWS has issued a hazardous weather outlook for the Twin Cities, central and southern Minnesota, and west-central Wisconsin, with air temperatures in the metro dipping to 15 below.

After a mild winter thought to be down to a strong El Nino, this weekend is likely to be brutally cold even by January standards, and the Star Tribune reports people heading outside are being warned to dress in layers and cover exposed skin.

Here's the weather service's frostbite chart, which will put parts of the state within the 10 minute range as the mercury drops.

But there's good news, with MPR saying this should be "the bottom" for the Twin Cities this winter, with temperatures recovering somewhat from Tuesday as it climbs to around 10 above.

And even if we do experience 80 consecutive hours of below zero temperatures, it's been a lot worse before. The record for the Twin Cities according to the NWS is 186 consecutive hours in 1911/12, while the longest streak in recent times was 142 hours in 1994.

WCCO reports that the Arctic blast is not likely to stop some Minnesotans heading to state parks this weekend, with several events planned for the weekend such as a wildlife walk at Fort Snelling State Park Sunday.

"Even in very cold temperatures, there are still people who come out here," the DNR's Kao Thao told the TV station. "Hearty people who come out for snow shoeing, wild life hiking, or just a quiet nice walk on a park trail."

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