Feeling cold from head to toe? So is all of Minnesota

 

If you think you’ve been cold before, get ready. In the next few days the Twin Cities will experience the sort of bone-shuddering cold that your grandparents used to talk about.

Some of the coldest weather in at least 10 years is expected to arrive in the form of a 72- to 90-hour stretch of subzero temperatures next week, from Sunday into Wednesday, according to Star Tribune meteorologist Paul Douglas.

“The trend has been for milder winters, but you know, every now and then you are still going to get an old-fashioned Minnesota winter,” Douglas said.

Monday is projected to be the coldest day in the metro area in the past decade, with temperatures as low as minus-20 in the morning and reaching a high of minus-10 later in the day, Douglas said. Windchill will make it feel even more arctic.

Twin Citians have been “pampered and spoiled” with mild winters since the turn of the century, Douglas said. Historically, the region’s coldest weather comes in mid-January, but this cold is coming about a week earlier than normal, thanks in part to persistent prevailing winds sweeping down from the northwest, he said.

Still, not everyone is suffering from the cold.

Mary Swirtz, owner of Travel Leaders-MSP Travel Group, with offices in Mendota Heights and Plymouth, said that travel inquiries have jumped this week when normally the company doesn’t begin to see an uptick until well after the holidays.

“This week the phone was ringing more so than normal. I think it’s definitely related to the cold,” Swirtz said. “I want to go somewhere — don’t you?”

Popular destinations include Mexico, the Caribbean and Florida, she said.

If people can’t afford to hop on a plane, they can escape to an indoor floral paradise at the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory in St. Paul.

There has been a noticeable bump in attendance and in inquiries at the conservatory, said Matt Reinartz, a spokesman for the complex.

“People are itching to get out of this cold weather and into someplace warm,” he said.

Even those businesses that would seem to be the worst hit by tundra-like low temperatures find ways to generate sales.

At the two Sebastian Joe’s locations in Minneapolis, the ice cream shop offers a cold-weather discount in January and February.

“As the temperature gets colder, we give a bigger discount,” said Greg Hefferan, the company’s manager of production.

When the projected low is minus-10 to minus-20 degrees, there’s a 25 percent discount on ice cream, Hefferan said. Customers have been taking advantage of the sale and buying a lot of pints and quarts, he said.

On Thursday, nearly every Minnesota community that reports to the National Weather Service was citing subzero temperatures as the sun was rising.

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  • While some Minnesotans head south to warmer climes, others embrace Jan...

  • Minimal skin exposure will be key to coping with a long stretch of below-zero temperatures that are in the forecast.

  • While some Minnesotans head south to warmer climes, others embrace January sub-zero temperatures by heading to recreation sites at area parks. Franco Zerna, St. Paul, left and Scott Franta, Roseville, bundled-up against the cold as they rode a rope tow at St. Paul's Como Park sliding and ski hill. (MARLIN LEVISON/STARTRIBUNE(mlevison@startribune.com)

  • Diane Marker of Roseville skied at the Como Park golf course Thursday.

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