Cold Outbreak: January 27-31, 2019

-56 degrees F at Cotton in St. Louis County Minnesota on January 27, 2019
-56 degrees F at Cotton in St. Louis County Minnesota on January 27, 2019
Courtesy: Duluth National Weather Service

The arctic outbreak from January 27-31, 2019 had some of the coldest air to visit Minnesota since 1996.

Strong winds and arctic air on the heels of a feisty clipper-like snow storm brought extreme cold to Minnesota, the likes of which that have not been seen in over 20 years. The bitter cold brought some natural gas shortages just north of the metro and power outages to about 7,000 in the southern and western suburbs. Xcel Energy asked customers statewide to reduce their thermostat setting to 63 degrees. There were also broken water mains, and emergency personnel were busy with frostbite reports. Schools were closed for four days for many in the Twin Cities and outstate. The University of Minnesota was closed on the 30th and postal mail service was stopped statewide.

Air Temperature Recap

The -56 degrees F air temperature at Cotton 3S on January 28, 2019 was the coldest ambient air temperature in Minnesota since the -60 degrees F reading near Tower on February 2, 1996.

The -28 degrees F air temperature in the Twin Cities on January 30, 2019 was the coldest ambient air temperate in the Twin Cities since -32 degrees F on February 2, 1996.

The -13 degrees F maximum temperature on January 30, 2019 was the coldest maximum temperate since -17 degrees F on February 2, 1996.

Neither the minimum or maximum temperature in the Twin Cities on January 30 set a record for the date. However, the -56 at Cotton on January 27 did set the daily statewide record minimum temperature for the date. The old record was -54 at Pokegama Dam in 1904. Cotton 3S also saw -56 degrees F on January 31, breaking the daily statewide record minimum temperature for the date as well. The old record was -55 degrees F at Embarrass in 1996.

Some record cold maximum temperature records were set across the state as the mercury stayed in the teens below zero on January 30. Some of these records include: -14 degrees F at Duluth, -19 degrees F at Rochester and International Falls and -17 degrees F at St. Cloud.

Wind Chill Temperature
Perhaps more noteworthy was the extremely cold wind chill temperatures with this event. The Twin Cities saw twelve hours straight of -50 degrees F or colder wind chill temperatures from 7pm on January 30 to 6am January 31. With the coldest reading of -55 at 11pm January 30. This was the coldest wind chill reading in the Twin Cities since January 19, 1985.

A number of locations in northern Minnesota saw wind chill readings of -60 degrees F or colder including -65 degrees F at Hibbing at 8am on January 30.

National Weather Service Summaries

MNDNR Climatology Office Wind Chill and Cold Temperature Articles

Public Information Statements from the National Weather Service

RECORD EVENT REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DULUTH MN
1228 AM CST THU JAN 31 2019
...RECORD COLDEST HIGH TEMPERATURE SET AT DULUTH MN YESTERDAY...
A RECORD COLDEST HIGH TEMPERATURE OF -14 DEGREES WAS SET AT
DULUTH MN YESTERDAY. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF -11
SET IN 1887.
--------
RECORD EVENT REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE DULUTH MN
1228 AM CST THU JAN 31 2019
...RECORD LOW TEMPERATURE AND COLDEST HIGH TEMPERATURE SET AT
INTERNATIONAL FALLS MN YESTERDAY...
A RECORD LOW TEMPERATURE OF -40 DEGREES WAS SET AT
INTERNATIONAL FALLS MN YESTERDAY. THIS TIES THE OLD RECORD OF -40
SET IN 1950.
A RECORD COLDEST HIGH TEMPERATURE OF -19 DEGREES WAS SET AT
INTERNATIONAL FALLS MN YESTERDAY. THIS BREAKS THE OLD RECORD OF -14
SET IN 1909.
--------
Below is a listing of the coldest wind chills observed and coldest temperatures (below) observed as of 12PM Wednesday.
Observed Coldest Wind Chills
(Chanhassen National Weather Service)
LOCATION                   WIND CHILL      TIME/DATE   PROVIDER             
ALEXANDRIA 2SSE              -63 F     0820 PM 01/29   MNDOT                
BENSON AP                    -62 F     0735 PM 01/29   AWOS                 
WILLMAR AP                   -61 F     0716 PM 01/29   AWOS                 
SAUK CENTRE AP               -61 F     0656 PM 01/29   AWOS                 
GLENWOOD AP                  -61 F     0435 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
CLARA CITY 2WSW              -61 F     0820 PM 01/29   MNDOT                
HARDING 3WNW                 -61 F     0400 AM 01/30   MNDOT                
BELGRADE 3ESE                -61 F     1010 PM 01/29   MNDOT                
ELLENDALE 5NNE               -61 F     1045 PM 01/29   MNDOT                
MENOMONIE AP                 -60 F     0515 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
SAUK CENTRE 2SE              -60 F     0845 PM 01/29   MNDOT                
WINTHROP 2W                  -60 F     0845 PM 01/29   MNDOT                
CANNON FALLS 7SSE            -60 F     0545 AM 01/30   MNDOT                
MADELIA 3ENE                 -60 F     0900 PM 01/29   MNDOT                
NEW ULM AP                   -60 F     1015 PM 01/29   AWOS                 
LONG PRAIRIE AP              -59 F     0616 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
ALEXANDRIA AP                -59 F     0853 PM 01/29   ASOS                 
FAIRMONT AP                  -59 F     1056 PM 01/29   AWOS                 
MANKATO AP                   -59 F     1009 PM 01/29   AWOS                 
RICE 1NNW                    -59 F     0105 AM 01/30   MNDOT                
OLIVIA AP                    -59 F     0955 PM 01/29   AWOS                 
ST. CLOUD AP                 -59 F     0353 AM 01/30   ASOS                 
BLUE EARTH 2NW               -58 F     1045 PM 01/29   MNDOT                
NEW GERMANY 1NW              -58 F     0315 AM 01/30   MNDOT                
RED WING 4W                  -58 F     0935 AM 01/30   MNDOT                
MARIETTA 5SSW                -58 F     0815 PM 01/29   MNDOT                
OWATONNA AP                  -58 F     0346 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
LITCHFIELD 3S                -57 F     1111 PM 01/29   RAWS                 
LITCHFIELD AP                -57 F     0815 PM 01/29   AWOS                 
CLEARWATER 1SE               -57 F     0446 AM 01/30   MNDOT                
MAYER 1NE                    -57 F     0335 AM 01/30   MNDOT                
HANLEY FALLS                 -57 F     0945 PM 01/29   MNDOT                
MILACA 8N                    -57 F     0840 AM 01/30   MNDOT                
MONTEVIDEO AP                -57 F     1015 PM 01/29   AWOS                 
PAYNESVILLE AP               -57 F     0916 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
CUMBERLAND AP                -57 F     0655 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
WASECA AP                    -56 F     1015 PM 01/29   AWOS                 
APPLETON AP                  -56 F     0916 PM 01/29   AWOS                 
GRANITE FALLS AP             -56 F     0836 PM 01/29   AWOS                 
NEW PRAGUE 2W                -56 F     0435 AM 01/30   MNDOT                
NEW RICHMOND AP              -56 F     0455 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
REDWOOD FALLS AP             -56 F     0453 AM 01/30   ASOS                 
MADISON AP                   -55 F     0935 PM 01/29   AWOS                 
HUTCHINSON AP                -55 F     0536 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL AP      -55 F     1053 PM 01/29   ASOS                 
SANTIAGO 3E                  -54 F     0320 AM 01/30   RAWS                 
EAU CLAIRE AP                -54 F     0856 AM 01/30   ASOS                 
GLENCOE AP                   -54 F     0815 PM 01/29   AWOS                 
LAKEVILLE AP                 -54 F     0436 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
LITTLE FALLS AP              -54 F     0316 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
MAPLE LAKE AP                -54 F     0355 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
CRYSTAL AP                   -54 F     0853 AM 01/30   ASOS                 
OSCEOLA AP                   -54 F     0515 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
ST. PAUL DWTN AP             -54 F     1153 PM 01/29   ASOS                 
STANTON AP                   -54 F     1115 PM 01/29   AWOS                 
BLAINE AP                    -53 F     0255 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
EDEN PRAIRIE AP              -53 F     0953 PM 01/29   ASOS                 
GORDONSVILLE                 -53 F     0800 AM 01/30   GOES                 
MORA AP                      -53 F     1216 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
MORA 1ENE                    -53 F     0508 AM 01/30   RAWS                 
RED WING AP                  -53 F     0116 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
STANLEY 1SSE                 -53 F     0758 AM 01/30   WIDOT                
CARVER 3S                    -53 F     0449 AM 01/30   RAWS                 
CANBY AP                     -52 F     1015 PM 01/29   AWOS                 
PRINCETON AP                 -52 F     0255 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
TONY AP                      -52 F     0615 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
RICE LAKE AP                 -52 F     0835 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
CHETEK AP                    -52 F     0635 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
LITTLE FALLS 2SSE            -51 F     1007 PM 01/29   RAWS                 
SOUTH ST. PAUL 1WSW          -51 F     0100 AM 01/30   MNDOT                
RUSH CITY AP                 -51 F     0416 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
ST. CROIX FALLS 2ESE         -51 F     0206 AM 01/30   WIDOT                
SKYLINE                      -50 F     0730 PM 01/29   MNDOT          
Observed Low Temperatures
LOCATION                     TEMP      TIME/DATE       PROVIDER             
MELROSE                      -38 F     0700 AM 01/30   COOP                 
HARDING 3WNW                 -36 F     0735 AM 01/30   MNDOT                
LONG PRAIRIE                 -34 F     0600 AM 01/30   COOP                 
MILACA 8N                    -34 F     0745 AM 01/30   MNDOT                
LONG PRAIRIE AP              -33 F     0836 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
APPLETON AP                  -33 F     0810 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
BENSON AP                    -33 F     0815 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
GLENWOOD AP                  -33 F     0816 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
MENOMONIE AP                 -33 F     1155 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
LITTLE FALLS 2SSE            -33 F     0807 AM 01/30   RAWS                 
ALEXANDRIA 2SSE              -33 F     0845 AM 01/30   MNDOT                
SAUK CENTRE 2SE              -33 F     0830 AM 01/30   MNDOT                
BELGRADE 3ESE                -33 F     0805 AM 01/30   MNDOT                
RICE 1NNW                    -33 F     0815 AM 01/30   MNDOT                
RICE                         -33 F     0700 AM 01/30   COOP                 
BALDWIN                      -32 F     0730 AM 01/30   COOP                 
BROOTEN 3NNE                 -32 F     0600 AM 01/30   HADS                 
SAUK CENTRE AP               -32 F     0437 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
KIMBALL 3N                   -32 F     0600 AM 01/30   COOP                 
FOLEY 6WSW                   -32 F     0820 AM 01/30   MNDOT                
MORA                         -32 F     0700 AM 01/30   COOP                 
PAYNESVILLE AP               -32 F     1155 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
RUSH CITY AP                 -32 F     1155 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
ANDOVER 1N                   -31 F     0600 AM 01/30   COOP                 
ALEXANDRIA AP                -31 F     1153 AM 01/30   ASOS                 
WYOMING 6WSW                 -31 F     0706 AM 01/30   RAWS                 
SANTIAGO 3E                  -31 F     0720 AM 01/30   RAWS                 
MORA AP                      -31 F     0755 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
MORA 1ENE                    -31 F     0808 AM 01/30   RAWS                 
LITTLE FALLS AP              -31 F     0855 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
MADISON                      -31 F     0800 AM 01/30   COOP                 
CLEARWATER 1SE               -31 F     0830 AM 01/30   MNDOT                
APPLETON                     -31 F     0900 AM 01/30   GPSMET               
ALEXANDRIA                   -31 F     0700 AM 01/30   GPSMET               
MORRIS (AG EXP FRM)          -31 F     0800 AM 01/30   COOP                 
OSCEOLA AP                   -31 F     1155 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
NEW RICHMOND AP              -31 F     1155 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
ST. CLOUD AP                 -31 F     1153 AM 01/30   ASOS                 
ST. CROIX FALLS 2ESE         -31 F     0605 AM 01/30   WIDOT                
CUMBERLAND AP                -31 F     0815 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
WILD RIVER                   -31 F     0800 AM 01/30   COOP                 
WILLMAR 5N                   -31 F     0600 AM 01/30   COOP                 
AUGUSTA (RS)                 -30 F     0800 AM 01/30   COOP                 
APPLETON                     -30 F     0815 AM 01/30   GOES                 
BLOOMER                      -30 F     0800 AM 01/30   COOP                 
EAU CLAIRE AP                -30 F     1156 AM 01/30   ASOS                 
ELK RIVER                    -30 F     0700 AM 01/30   COOP                 
ELLSWORTH 1E                 -30 F     0700 AM 01/30   COOP                 
KNAPP 3SW                    -30 F     0657 AM 01/30   WIDOT                
LITCHFIELD 3S                -30 F     0711 AM 01/30   RAWS                 
MILACA                       -30 F     0730 AM 01/30   COOP                 
TWIN LAKES 5SE               -30 F     0800 AM 01/30   MNDOT                
CLARA CITY 2WSW              -30 F     0740 AM 01/30   MNDOT                
MAYER 1NE                    -30 F     0815 AM 01/30   MNDOT                
CANNON FALLS 7SSE            -30 F     0845 AM 01/30   MNDOT                
RED WING 4W                  -30 F     0845 AM 01/30   MNDOT                
RICHFIELD 3ESE               -30 F     0745 AM 01/30   MNDOT                
WASECA (AG EXP FRM)          -30 F     0800 AM 01/30   COOP                 
CHETEK AP                    -30 F     1155 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
ZUMBROTA                     -30 F     0700 AM 01/30   COOP                 
ALBERT LEA AP                -29 F     0816 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
AUGUSTA 1NW                  -29 F     0805 AM 01/30   RAWS                 
ALBERT LEA 3SE               -29 F     0800 AM 01/30   COOP                 
WILLMAR AP                   -29 F     0815 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
BUFFALO AP                   -29 F     1155 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
EDEN PRAIRIE AP              -29 F     1153 AM 01/30   ASOS                 
JORDAN 1SW                   -29 F     0530 AM 01/30   COOP                 
MENOMONIE                    -29 F     0700 AM 01/30   COOP                 
MAPLE LAKE AP                -29 F     1156 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
CRYSTAL AP                   -29 F     1153 AM 01/30   ASOS                 
NEW GERMANY 1NW              -29 F     0830 AM 01/30   MNDOT                
MORTON                       -29 F     0810 AM 01/30   MNDOT                
HANLEY FALLS                 -29 F     0745 AM 01/30   MNDOT                
NEW PRAGUE 2W                -29 F     0800 AM 01/30   MNDOT                
MAPLE GROVE                  -29 F     0820 AM 01/30   MNDOT                
SOUTH ST. PAUL 1WSW          -29 F     0810 AM 01/30   MNDOT                
ELLENDALE 5NNE               -29 F     0815 AM 01/30   MNDOT                
MONTEVIDEO AP                -29 F     0756 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
NEW ULM 3SE                  -29 F     0539 AM 01/30   COOP                 
PRINCETON AP                 -29 F     0836 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
REDWOOD FALLS                -29 F     0700 AM 01/30   COOP                 
ROCKFORD 3W                  -29 F     0600 AM 01/30   GOES                 
RICE LAKE AP                 -29 F     1155 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
REDWOOD FALLS AP             -29 F     1153 AM 01/30   ASOS                 
STANLEY 1SSE                 -29 F     0758 AM 01/30   WIDOT                
CARVER 3S                    -29 F     0749 AM 01/30   RAWS                 
ST. PAUL (UMN-AG EXP FRM)    -29 F     0800 AM 01/30   COOP                 
WELLS                        -29 F     0800 AM 01/30   COOP                 
CANBY                        -28 F     0800 AM 01/30   COOP                 
FAIRMONT AP                  -28 F     1156 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
GORDONSVILLE                 -28 F     0830 AM 01/30   GOES                 
HUTCHINSON AP                -28 F     1155 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
HOLCOMBE                     -28 F     0700 AM 01/30   COOP                 
LADYSMITH 2SW                -28 F     0805 AM 01/30   RAWS                 
MANKATO AP                   -28 F     1156 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
BLUE EARTH 2NW               -28 F     0805 AM 01/30   MNDOT                
WINTHROP 2W                  -28 F     0810 AM 01/30   MNDOT                
WASECA 1SSE                  -28 F     0900 AM 01/30   MNDOT                
MADELIA 3ENE                 -28 F     0810 AM 01/30   MNDOT                
MARIETTA 5SSW                -28 F     0815 AM 01/30   MNDOT                
SKYLINE                      -28 F     0745 AM 01/30   MNDOT                
ST. PETER 2N                 -28 F     0815 AM 01/30   MNDOT                
ST. PAUL 1NNE                -28 F     0745 AM 01/30   MNDOT                
LE SUEUR 1S                  -28 F     0700 AM 01/30   GPSMET               
MORRISTOWN                   -28 F     0830 AM 01/30   GOES                 
MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL AP      -28 F     1153 AM 01/30   ASOS                 
COATES 2SW                   -28 F     0600 AM 01/30   HADS                 
STANTON AP                   -28 F     1155 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
FALCON HGTS                  -28 F     0600 AM 01/30   HADS                 
WINNEBAGO                    -28 F     0800 AM 01/30   COOP                 
BLAINE AP                    -27 F     0845 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
CANBY AP                     -27 F     1156 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
MADISON AP                   -27 F     0816 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
GRANITE FALLS AP             -27 F     1155 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
GLENCOE AP                   -27 F     1155 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
HASTINGS (L/D 2)             -27 F     0730 AM 01/30   COOP                 
JIM FALLS 3NW                -27 F     0615 AM 01/30   COOP                 
LITCHFIELD AP                -27 F     0856 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
LAKEVILLE AP                 -27 F     0816 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
APPLE VALLEY                 -27 F     0800 AM 01/30   GPSMET               
OLIVIA AP                    -27 F     0815 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
OWATONNA AP                  -27 F     0629 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
TONY AP                      -27 F     1155 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
RED WING AP                  -27 F     0816 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
SOUTH ST. PAUL AP            -27 F     1156 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
ST. PAUL DWTN AP             -27 F     1153 AM 01/30   ASOS                 
NEW ULM AP                   -27 F     0856 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
WINNEBAGO                    -27 F     0600 AM 01/30   GOES                 
FARMINGTON 1SE               -27 F     0800 AM 01/30   NWS                  
WASECA AP                    -26 F     0856 AM 01/30   AWOS                 
MINNEAPOLIS DWTN             -26 F     0600 AM 01/30   COOP                 
HENDERSON 3NNE               -23 F     0840 AM 01/30   UPR   

Last modified: January 31, 2019