Area students can thank Mother Nature and the governor for another day off school Monday, Jan. 6.
Gov. Mark Dayton has canceled public schools statewide Monday because of forecasted dangerous cold. Pequot Lakes and Pine River-Backus students had just returned to school Thursday, Jan. 2, after their holiday break. Crosslake and Nisswa students last had school Friday, Dec. 20, and were scheduled to return Monday.
Dayton said the safety of Minnesota’s school children is the state’s first priority. Dayton said all Minnesotans should be cautious about the weather in the coming days.
“I’m calling it brutal arctic air coming down,” said Geoff Grochocinski, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Duluth.
“It’s going to be so cold because the high temperatures of the day are going to be so low,” he said, noting high temperatures Sunday and Monday will be around 15 below to 17 below zero.
“So there won’t be much improvement during the day Sunday and Monday, and with the winds, the wind chill temperatures are going to be really bad,” Grochocinski said, at 30 below zero Saturday and Sunday nights. “It’s more the cold from the wind chills that will be the main issue.”
He advised people to bundle up.
“Even when driving in a car, you should always be prepared that your car could stall or you could land in a ditch, so you should have proper clothing on,” Grochocinski said. “It’s good to check up on your neighbors, especially the elderly, to be sure the heat is working. And avoid travel in the cold if there’s no good reason to.”
Grochocinski did say there is good news with improvement late next week in the form of temperatures in the teens and 20s — above zero.
“How long it will last, nobody knows,” he said.
Following is the lakes area forecast, according to the National Weather Service in Duluth:
A wind chill warning will be in effect from 6 p.m. Saturday to noon Tuesday.
Friday evening: Chance of light snow, possibly mixed with freezing drizzle and sleet, with areas of blowing snow. Around an inch of snow could fall. Lows zero to 5 above zero.
Saturday: Partly cloudy in the morning and then clearing, with highs from 1 to 6 degrees and falling throughout the day. Northwest winds 15-20 mph with higher gusts. Wind chill values 20 below to 30 below zero.
Saturday night: Mostly clear skies with lows 25 below to 30 below zero, with the lowest wind chill readings after midnight at 40 below to 50 below zero.
Sunday: Partly sunny skies with occasional flurries in the afternoon. Highs 13 below to 18 below zero with wind chill values 40 below to 50 below zero. Winds will be northwest at 10 to 15 mph.
Sunday night and Monday: Mostly cloudy with lows at 27 below to 32 below zero and highs at 15 below to 20 below zero.
Monday night and Tuesday: Lows 23 below to 28 below zero, with highs still at 2 below to 7 below zero.
Tuesday night-Thursday: Lows 14 below to 19 below zero, with temperatures predicted finally to climb above zero Wednesday at 5 to 10 above. Thursday, Jan. 9, highs are expected at 14 to 19 above zero.