The Twin Cities area can expect a replay of Sunday’s bitter windchills on Monday, perhaps not as severe as the 40 below reported Sunday in Lakeville, but potentially dangerous nonetheless, forecasters say.
Windchill readings of 25 below to 35 below are forecast for all of central and southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin under an advisory that is expected to run until noon Monday, the National Weather Service (NWS) said.
The good news, relatively speaking, is that the high temperature could creep above zero to 1 degree in Minneapolis on Monday afternoon, following a frigid Sunday that saw the high hit just 3 below at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
Cars groaned across the metro and firefighters had to take special precautions while battling blazes in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
In Lakeville, on the windswept southern metro, the windchill reading touched 40 below just before sunrise. As lunchtime neared, there was a bit of warming, with nearly all sectors of the Twin Cities clawing back into single digits below zero, the Weather Service reported.
Vehicle batteries strained to get engines started in the Twin Cities. A spokeswoman for the AAA auto club said its call volume for assistance was 53 percent higher than on a normal winter Sunday, as of early evening.
A slight jump in the number of frostbite cases was detected over the weekend. “A half-dozen or more” new frostbite patients were reported at Hennepin County Medical Center in that time, hospital spokeswoman Christine Hill said.
According to theWeather Service, the windchills being forecast through Monday morning can cause frostbite to exposed skin in as little as 30 minutes.
About 4:30 p.m. Sunday, a fire was reported at an abandoned warehouse near 30th Avenue SE. and the University of Minnesota Transitway. Because of the cold, the 40 to 45 firefighters who attacked the fire from the exterior had to be rotated through in shorter shifts, said Bryan Tyner, a Minneapolis fire department spokesman.
Metro Transit provided a bus so that firefighters could keep warm, he added.
Tyner said no one was in the warehouse when firefighters arrived, and no injuries were reported.
Firefighters in St. Paul coped with icy surfaces while battling a residential blaze about 12:10 a.m. Sunday.
The kitchen of a house in the 1100 block of Jessie Street was “engulfed in flames, with flames shooting out the window,” when crews arrived, said Fire Marshal Steve Zaccard. The blaze was quickly extinguished.
“With the temperatures below zero, ice is always a problem for firefighters, although no one was injured as far as I know,” Zaccard said. “Ice coats the streets, sidewalks, firetrucks and ladders.”
Skaters and broomball combatants soldiered on Sunday afternoon under sunny skies at Matthews Park in Minneapolis. The warming house, however, was locked despite the usual noon-6 p.m. hours and a daily list showing it should have been open.
“Most of our warming houses are closed [Sunday] due to the temperature and windchill,” said Park and Recreation Board spokeswoman Dawn Sommers.
State’s coldest readings
Statewide, every corner of Minnesota and points in between were well below zero, the Weather Service reported. Fosston in northwestern Minnesota was the coldest of the cold at 35 below. Windchill? Lucky for Fosstonians, winds were reported to be calm.
Bemidji and Park Rapids led the windchill parade at 47 below at 6 a.m., the Weather Service said.
Metro Transit has put its cold weather protocol into effect through Monday night to protect Twin Cities passengers and others in the dangerous weather.
Some Transit centers, including the one at Target Field, remain open through the night, while the No. 5 and 19 buses, as well as the Green Line trains, will run at all hours, said transit spokesman Howie Padilla.
People were allowed to remain overnight in the 4th, 5th and 7th Street garages, and the Leamington and Gateway garages.
Padilla said passengers should join train operators and transit police in keeping a lookout for signs of anyone exhibiting symptoms of frostbite or other weather-related ailments.
“There’s the obvious advice to bundle up, but the other thing I don’t think can be reiterated enough is for people to look out for each other,” he said.
No snow in forecast
The statewide deep freeze, which began Saturday, is forecast to last until at least Tuesday.
Expect a high of zero for Monday, and then back on the positive side of the thermometer come Tuesday, with a high of 8.
And other weather news: nothing new to shovel for at least the next week.
And just in case anyone in the Twin Cities west metro has a hankering for the bitter cold once it eases up a few days from now, the sponsors of the Eden Prairie Ice Castles announced Sunday there will be a sneak preview on Friday at Miller Park. By that time, the Weather Service envisions, the Twin Cities could be flirting with highs near 20.