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Extreme cold leads to school closings in Minnesota, including metro

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Dozens of school districts across Minnesota have canceled Wednesday's classes or delayed school start times because of the bitter cold temperatures forecast for the area.

Wind chills around the state are expected to be in the -30 to -50 range during the morning, and a wind chill warning is posted for the entire state.

Minneapolis and Anoka-Hennepin, two of the state's largest districts, have called off school for Wednesday, but the St. Paul district will hold classes as usual.

Rochester Public Schools are also closed. Many others have announced they'll start classes two hours later. Still more have said they won't decide whether to close until early Wednesday morning.

You can find complete statewide school closing information on several sites, including KARE 11, WCCO, the Duluth News Tribune and the Rochester Post-Bulletin.

It'll be brutally cold Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. Between the bitterly cold air temperatures and wind chill values, our weather has officially reached dangerous levels. A Wind Chill Warning is in effect for the entire state and western Wisconsin beginning at 2 a.m. Wednesday until at least 10 a.m. In some areas it's in effect until noon.

The coldest of the cold will be during the predawn hours through mid-morning (5 a.m. to 9 a.m.) Wednesday. Temperatures will be in the teens below zero in much of the state. The forecast is calling for a low near -13 degrees in the Twin Cities, but between -20 and -25 degrees in northern Minnesota.

Stiff northwest winds of 15 to 20 mph will produce wind chills of -25 to -35 degrees in the metro. Wind chill values of -40 to -50 degrees are even possible in the northern third of Minnesota through late-morning Wednesday.

Winds are going to relax a smidge in the afternoon Wednesday. However, air temperatures will likely remain sub-zero. So, even a modest breeze should create "feels like" temperatures of -20 degrees even during the "warmest" part of the day.

Homeless shelters across the Twin Cities have been preparing for bigger crowds as temperatures plummet.

KARE 11 reports that the Salvation Army is opening nine locations up as "warming centers" during the daytime this week, with doors expected to remain open into the evening.

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