Beyond brrrrisk: dangerous cold blasts across Minnesota

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Temperatures plunged below zero across Minnesota on Monday, creating a heightened risk for hypothermia and frostbite.

The National Weather Service has issued wind chill warnings and advisories that continue through Tuesday morning in some parts of Minnesota, as dangerously cold air blankets the state. Wind chill temperatures could make it feel like -50 in northern parts of Minnesota Monday, WCCO reported.

The Twin Cities was expected to hit a high of about -4 air temperature Monday, local forecasters said. International Falls in the north was expected to have a high of -14 air temperature.

KSTP said that Monday's high temperatures are likely to hover below zero for the first time in four years as an Arctic high pressure system moves over Minnesota during the day on Monday. Temperatures are expected to drop into the teens below zero Monday night in the metro, KARE 11 reported, noting that temperatures will be back to 10 to 15 degrees above zero by Wednesday. No significant snowfall is forecasted through the weekend, KARE reports.

The cold was a factor in the death of a 77-year-old Illinois woman in Wisconsin, the Associated Press reported.

The Associated Press reports that emergency rooms around the state were preparing for an increase in frostbite cases, which can happen when skin is exposed in the bitter chill for just a few minutes. The parts of the body that are most likely to experience frostbite are the ears, nose, fingers and toes.

Pain in an extremity is the first warning sign that frostbite may be occurring. Dr. Aaron Burnett, an emergency physician at HealthPartners, said that every winter he treats patients who do not recognize what is happening to them. Drinking can mask symptoms, and people with diabetes are at higher risk.

"Diabetics who get low blood sugar and then go out and aren't able to recognize that they're getting cold," he said. "Their body is not able to sense the discomfort."

You know it's truly cold in Minnesota when the state's winter weather makes national news (CNN).

Even the Minnesota Twins statues outside Target Field were bundling up, the Associated Press reported.

Here's a fun bit of video from WCCO – a producer throws boiling water in the air and much of it instantly vaporizes. (It has less to do with the extreme cold, and more to do with the fact that the boiling water is near the evaporation point already and the air is extremely dry.)

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