Dangerous cold makes Thursday a 'wind chill day' for many schools

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Our latest arctic blast has dozens of Minnesota school districts calling off or delaying classes on Thursday.

The Anoka-Hennepin School District announced in the afternoon that schools will be closed Thursday. The Minneapolis and St. Paul districts waited until late in the evening to make the same announcement.

"The decision to close schools for students and staff is based on the official announcement of the U.S. Weather Service, which states, 'Exposed skin may freeze in as little as five to 10 minutes,'" Anoka-Hennepin said.

KARE 11 has a list of other school closures.

To close or not to close is a tricky question for schools. In St. Paul, Superintendent Valeria Silva initially announced schools would be open...

What a winter! SPPS will be open tomorrow, Jan. 23. You know the drill -- bundle up and ensure kids get on the bus before leaving for work.

— Valeria S. Silva (@SPPS_SuptSilva) January 22, 2014

But at about 8:30 p.m. the district changed its mind and announced that classes are cancelled. Minneapolis' decision came just a little earlier.

A wind chill warning is in effect from 6 p.m. Wednesday until noon for virtually all of Minnesota, except for the extreme southwestern and southeastern portions of the state. The National Weather Service expects wind chill values to dip to between -35 and -43 degrees.

The weather service warns that those outside are at risk for frost bite, hypothermia or death if precautions aren't taken.

It's a story Minnesotans are getting all too used to. Extreme cold temperatures two weeks ago prompted Gov. Mark Dayton to close all public schools.

As the Star Tribune's weather blogger Todd Nelson says, "I'm running out of creative adjectives to describe our cold and snowy weather as of late."

According to the West Central Tribune, many schools in the region either cancelled classes or let out early Wednesday as much of the region dealt with a ground blizzard that reduced visibility on the highways to near zero.

What does zero visibility look like? The Minnesota Department of Transportation posted a short video to Facebook so you can see what they're talking about. Watch out for that truck in the ditch.

Post by Minnesota Department of Transportation.

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