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Chilling reality: Frigid temps in Twin Cities coldest in 5 years

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The cold snap that has been gripping Minnesota this month is far from the average December, the Pioneer Press reports.

The paper said the streak of five days where temperatures have fallen to zero or subzero hasn't been seen in December for five years.

The National Weather Service says if Wednesday's forecasted high of zero holds up, it will be earliest the Minneapolis-St. Paul has seen that low for a high in 18 years.

On average, the temperature in the Twin Cities last Thursday through Monday were 16 to 27 degrees below normal.

Some relief appears to be on the way for Thursday and Friday. The Star Tribune reports that highs will reach 19 degrees in Twin Cities on Thursday and 18 on Friday.

The warm-up won't last for long, however. Saturday the high will drop to 12 degrees, and Sunday the forecast calls for a high of 3.

Meanwhile, hospital emergency rooms are preparing to treat cases of hypothermia as the next eight weeks are expected to be some of the busiest for frostbite treatment, WCCO reports.

Concerns over hypothermia are at the forefront as a student from the University of Minnesota-Duluth continues to recover from a severe case of frostbite over the weekend.

Alyssa Jo Lommel, 19, is hospitalized after begin found unconscious on a neighbor’s porch in Duluth early Saturday morning. The woman had reportedly been dropped off at her home more than nine hours earlier.

Lommel's parents said their daughter may lose limbs because the frostbite was so severe.

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