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"Cold" hardly begins to describe wintry regional forecast

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Minnesota meteorologists are digging into their bags of adjectives to describe the weather locked over the state. "Brutal" and "wicked"were favorite descriptors, and the way the weather team at KSTP described the forecast. They reportied the metro area will stay well below zero all day Sunday as gusty winds will push wind chills between -20 and -35. The low Sunday night will be -16, along with 1" to 2" of light snow on the way for Monday.

The National Weather Service in Chanhassen kept it succinct, warning of wind chills that are, in a word, dangerous. Much of the state is under a winter weather advisory through 6 p.m. Sunday because of the bitter temperatures. The cold is a particularly abrupt adjustment after a mild Saturday.

It's the same song sung between chattering teeth across the region. In Duluth, the Northland's News Center said the Arctic high pressure means clear skies but highs (highs!) between -12 and -5. In Fargo-Moorhead, Forum Communications reports bitter temperatures followed a blizzard that walloped the eastern part of North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota. And in the southern part of the state KAAL in Austin reported that winds would stay strong for most of the day, with gusts up to 45 mph and wind chill values that feel close to -40 at times.

WCCO-TV talked to an an emergency physician at Abbott Northwestern Hospital who warned people to dress for the extremes, even for a short trip outside. He suggests wearing extra layers and bringing extra clothes along if you're traveling.

“Anytime you’re talking negative-degree temperatures, it can be a matter of only a few minutes before you developed signs of frostbite,” said Dr. Gary Mayeux.

Dr. Mayeux says his hospital sees one to two cases of frostbite a week. Usually it strikes those who didn’t plan to be outside, like a driver whose car breaks down. Common signs of frostbite include numbness or a painful, prickly sensation on exposed skin. The skin will also change color, turning red or white from blood loss. In severe cases, there will be blistering.

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