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Coldest air in nearly two years hits the Midwest U.S.

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 5:08 PM GMT on January 21, 2013

A blast of Arctic air more intense than anything experienced during the winter of 2011 - 2012 has descended over the Midwest U.S., bringing the coldest temperatures in nearly two years. The low hit -2°F Monday morning in Des Moines, Iowa, marking the first day since February 10, 2011 that Des Moines had dropped below zero. The 710 consecutive days the city had gone without reaching 0°F was the longest such streak on record (previous record: 368 straight days, beginning January 23, 1954.) In Minneapolis, the mercury dropped to -10°F Monday morning, the coldest day since February 10, 2011. With the high temperature not expected to get above zero Monday, the city will likely snap its record-long streak of just over four years without a high temperature above 0°F. The last time the high temperature at the Minneapolis airport was below zero was on January 15, 2009, when the thermometer climbed to only -6°F. The previous longest such streak since record keeping began in 1872 was a 3.1 year streak that ended in January 2004. Strong winds accompanying today's cold blast have dropped the wind chill to a dangerously cold -40 to -50°F across much of Minnesota and North Dakota. The wind chill bottomed out at -51°F at Langdon, North Dakota at 4:35 CST Monday morning, thanks to a temperature of -22° combined with a wind of 17 mph. The wind chill hit -46°F at nearby Devils Lake and -51° at Hamden. The lowest wind chill in Minnesota was at Le Center: -43°F. Brr!

Jeff Masters

Lake Effect (gardner48197)
Heavy snow squalls came through this morning, left a Winter Wonderland...
Lake Effect
Snow bird (sandiquiz)
The little birds visited the feeder all day long, whilst the snow fell.
Snow bird
Frozen II. (maxa)
Frozen raindrops created during hours of freezing rain...
Frozen II.

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

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Thanks,Doc Masters, not much to be said except Brrrrrrr!!!!!.It has been a long time.Here in New England we've been spoiled,watch how many people start complaining about the snow and cold.
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That is one very beautiful frost on window picture.
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Winter temperatures have finally returned!
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Thanks, Dr. Masters.

Quote from the Official Presidential Inauguration Ceremony...

"We will respond to climate change, knowing failure to do so would be a disgrace to the children of future generations." -- President Barack H. Obama

Expecting highs in the mid- to upper 30s here tomorrow. Coldest air so far this winter. Warm up coming midweek, followed by an equally significant arctic outbreak for the weekend.
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Thanks Dr. Masters, definitely getting very cold here.
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Thanks Dr Masters
That was short and sweet!

And the photo is absolutely awesome
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yar... it be cold up here!!
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Category 6™


Cat 6 lead authors: WU cofounder Dr. Jeff Masters (right), who flew w/NOAA Hurricane Hunters 1986-1990, & WU meteorologist Bob Henson, @bhensonweather

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