Are We Close to Minnesota’s Coldest-Ever Temperature?
We might be getting a brief respite into the really cold weather right now, however, there's more bitter cold headed our way this weekend. But just how close are we to the coldest temperature ever recorded in Minnesota?
Our latest bout with all that bitter Arctic air, courtesy of the polar vortex, has had many of us shivering in our boots for the past several days. I mean, when your thermometer says -19 F when you wake up in the morning, as ours did last Sunday, you know it's cold. (BTW, can we agree that the correct way to pronounce that temperature is "19 below..." or "19 below zero..." and NOT "minus 19" or worse, "negative 19..."?)
And according to the National Weather Service, the forecast for this weekend in southeast Minnesota is once again calling for overnight lows to hit -15 F or colder with windchills between 10 to 30 below zero. So, yeah, that's cold. But is it close to the coldest temperature ever here in Minnesota?
As it turns out, nope, it's not. Because in order to tie Minnesota's All-Time Record Low, the mercury will have to dip all the way to 60 degrees BELOW ZERO. That's right, the coldest temperature ever recorded in the Land of 10,000 (Frozen) Lakes was -60 F, which happened up in Tower, Minnesota back on February 2, 1996.
According to the Minnesota DNR, the air mass that produced the record low at Tower 25 years ago also produced bitterly cold temperatures across the rest of Minnesota. "The Twin Cities (at MSP airport) recorded -32 F, and has not recorded a temperature of -30 or colder since that time. International Falls bottomed out at -45 F," it noted. Rochester was a bit warmer during that stretch-- only hitting -20 F, a temp we matched on Sunday, February 7th.
While we're proud of our ability to withstand such ridiculously-cold weather, Minnesota doesn't hold the record for the coldest temperature in the U.S., though. The DNR says the national record is -80 F, set at Prospect Creek, Alaska. Even here in the lower 48 states, Montana (-70 F), Wyoming (-66 F), and Colorado (-61 F) have all recorded colder record lows than Minnesota.
Part of the reason we're able to withstand such bone-chilling cold temperatures is the fact that Minnesotans know what to do to keep warm-- and also what NOT to do. Keep scrolling to check out 13 Things You Should NEVER Do When It's Below Zero in Minnesota!