Area students can thank Mother Nature — and the governor — for an extra two days off school this week.
Gov. Mark Dayton canceled public schools statewide Monday, Jan. 6, because of dangerous cold. He left the decision up to individual school districts Tuesday, Jan. 7, and with wind chills still far below zero even during the day, all area schools opted to stay closed that day as well.
Pequot Lakes and Pine River-Backus students had just returned to school Thursday, Jan. 2, after their holiday break. Crosslake and Nisswa students had last been in session Friday, Dec. 20, and were scheduled to return Monday, Jan. 6.
In his decision to close all public schools last Monday, Dayton said the safety of Minnesota’s school children is the state’s first priority. A wind chill warning was in effect Saturday-Wednesday, Jan. 4-8, across the state, with lakes area wind chills at 30 below to 40 below zero.
Temperatures were predicted to finally crack zero Wednesday, Jan. 8, with highs of 2 below to 3 above zero forecast. Wednesday night lows were forecast at 13 below to 18 below zero, with wind chills at 20 below to 30 below.
Relief from the arctic blast finally was predicted for Thursday, Jan. 9, with highs of 10 to 15 — above zero — and lows of 7 to 12 — also above zero.
Highs were forecast to shoot up to 25 to 30 above zero Friday, Jan. 10, with a chance of light snow, 25 to 30 above zero Saturday, Jan. 11, and 28 to 33 above zero Sunday, Jan. 12.