Subzero temperatures blanketed the entire state Thursday morning during what seems like a never-ending cold stretch.
The coldest readings were reported in the northeastern Minnesota towns of Babbitt and Embarrass, where temperatures bottomed out at -47 degrees, according to the National Weather Service in Duluth.
International Falls and Littlefork-Big Falls school districts canceled classes Thursday due to the extreme cold. The Duluth News Tribune reports International Falls broke their daily record low temperature at 42 below.
Those in the Twin Cities were comparatively much better off. The Star Tribune reports it was -11 degrees in the north metro suburbs of Crystal and Blaine. St. Paul saw -9 degrees. But with windchill, it felt like -25 to -30 degrees for most of the morning, NWS says.
After a warm air teaser on Friday, meteorologist Paul Douglas says next week should bring the coldest air of winter -- possibly the coldest since 1996.
As Minnesota Public Radio's Paul Huttner puts it: "This one is the mother lode, the bonanza, the big enchilada of arctic high pressure systems."
That means metro lows will be near -20 degrees, -35 degrees in Brainerd and lower and lower as you go farther north.
So when's the relief coming?
Douglas says we'll bottom out for winter Monday and Tuesday next week. After 72 to 90 hours below zero, temperatures are expected to reach the mid-20s by the end of the week followed by a few days of possible 30-degree temperatures. MPR shows the weekend of Jan. 11 could even be above freezing!
So, yeah it's really cold for now. However, it could be worse.
"Really?" you say.
Yes. You could add snow on top of bitter cold temperatures like on the East Coast, where a Nor'easter is expected to stir up a blizzard Friday and drop more than a foot of snow in Boston.