Temperatures plummeted to as low as 50 below zero in Minnesota on Saturday morning

Frost forms on a window as temperatures dip below zero.
Frost forms on a window as temperatures dip below zero.
Euan Kerr | MPR News 2017

Updated: 8:45 p.m.

A weather station at the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness east of Ely saw temperatures plummet to 50 below zero on Saturday morning — that's the air temperature, not counting the wind.

The 50-below low was recorded at a station at Snowbank Lake off the Fernberg Road, about 25 miles east of Ely.

If verified, it would be a new daily record low for Minnesota for Feb. 13.

Data from the National Weather Service, retrieved through the Minnesota State Climatology Office, shows a previous daily record of 46 below zero set at Detroit Lakes in 1916.

The overall state record low temperature in Minnesota remains 60 below zero, set near Tower on Feb. 2, 1996 — just over 25 years ago

Other locations in northern Minnesota saw low temperatures in the 40s below zero on Saturday, on what was the coldest morning yet of the prolonged deep freeze.

Duluth, Hibbing and International Falls each set record lows for the date.

Southern Minnesota saw overcast skies and some light snow, which kept conditions somewhat warmer than they would have been with clear skies.

Low-temperature reports on Saturday morning around Minnesota included:

  • 48 below zero - Norris Camp (Lake of the Woods County)

  • 46 below zero - Babbitt

  • 45 below zero - Effie, Shooks

  • 44 below zero - Bigfork, Kabetogama, Ash Lake

  • 43 below zero - Celina

  • 42 below zero - International Falls, Embarrass, Tower

  • 41 below zero - Cass Lake, Cotton, Floodwood, Skibo, Lancaster

  • 40 below zero - Crane Lake, Sea Gull Lake, Margie, Badoura, Lake Itasca

  • 39 below zero - Hibbing, Baudette, Roseau, Waskish, Williams, Littlefork, Winton, Birchdale

  • 38 below zero - Bemidji, Frazee, Kelliher, Park Rapids, Gatzke, Ely, Cook, Orr, Twig

  • 37 below zero - Hill City, Eveleth, Emily, Saginaw, Wright, Mentor

  • 36 below zero - Walker, Cloquet, Longville, Moose Lake, Beaver Bay, Fosston, Goodridge, Holt, Red Lake, Badger

  • 35 below zero - Duluth airport, Detroit Lakes, Bagley, Brooks, Roosevelt

  • 34 below zero - Brainerd, Perham, Greenbush, Gonvick

  • 33 below zero - Grand Rapids, Thief River Falls, Pine River, Wadena, Ottertail, Ulen, Karlstad

  • 32 below zero - Red Lake Falls, Staples, Mahnomen, Verndale

  • 31 below zero - Hinckley, McGregor, St. Vincent

  • 29 below zero - Parkers Prairie, New York Mills, Warren

  • 27 below zero - Staples, Hallock, Sebeka, Argyle

  • 26 below zero - Mora, Long Prairie, Fergus Falls, Crookston, Ada, Elbow Lake

  • 23 below zero - Alexandria

  • 22 below zero - Moorhead

  • 20 below zero - Cambridge

  • 19 below zero - St. Cloud

  • 18 below zero - Benson

  • 13 below zero - Redwood Falls

  • 11 below zero - Lakeville, Litchfield, Faribault, Hastings

  • 9 below zero - Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, Mankato, Fairmont, Albert Lea, Willmar, Red Wing, Montevideo, Rochester

Winds were light across northern Minnesota on Saturday morning, minimizing wind chills. But the Cloquet airport recorded a wind chill of 55 below zero. The Duluth and Hibbing airports each recorded a wind chill of 48 below.

Wind chill advisories and warnings remain in effect across Minnesota this weekend — but there’s a warmup in the forecast for next week. Read more on the forecast in the Updraft blog.

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