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Christmas 2017 among coldest on record in Northland

Andrew Krueger

This won’t come as a surprise to anyone who spent time outdoors on Christmas Day: Monday will go into the books as among the coldest Christmases on record in the Northland.

The National Weather Service reported that the high on Monday in Duluth was 8 below zero. That’s the fourth-lowest Christmas high temperature on record in the city — trailing only 1879, 1892 and 1933, when Duluth reached just 10 below for a high on the holiday.

International Falls’ high on Monday was 13 below, its second-lowest Christmas high, trailing only the 14-below high on Christmas 1996.

In Hibbing, the high on Monday was 11 below — its lowest high temperature on record for Dec. 25, the Weather Service reported.

Those frigid high temperatures came on the heels of a bitterly cold, blustery Christmas morning in the region — with another chilly morning expected Tuesday.

The Weather Service reported that the cold spot Monday morning was Embarrass, with a low of 29 below zero. A spotter at Sea Gull Lake on the Gunflint Trail reported 28 below zero, with 26 below at Togo and 24 below at Ely, Crane Lake, Cotton and Birchdale.

Other low-temperature reports Monday morning included:

  • 21 below at Littlefork and Bigfork
  • 20 below at Cook, Orr, Skibo and Isabella
  • 19 below at Hibbing, Eveleth, Side Lake and Palmers
  • 18 below at Grand Rapids, Aurora and the Grand Marais airport
  • 17 below in Aitkin
  • 15 below at the Duluth airport, Wright and Sturgeon Lake
  • 13 below in Cloquet
  • 11 below at Superior, Moose Lake, Minong and Two Harbors
  • 9 below zero at the Duluth harbor, Ashland and Hayward

Wind chill reports around the region on Monday included 46 below zero at Hibbing, 44 below at Grand Rapids and International Falls, 42 below at Eveleth and 41 below at Ely. The Duluth airport also saw wind chills in the 40s below zero.

A similarly cold morning is expected across the Northland on Tuesday, the Weather Service reported, with highs again remaining below zero. As of Monday night, wind chill warnings and advisories remained in effect for the region through Wednesday.

A slight warm-up is in the forecast for later in the week, but temperatures are expected to remain well below average. Highs are expected to reach the single digits above zero by Thursday and Friday, with overnight lows well below zero.

The average high and low temperatures for Duluth for this time of year are 20 and 4 above zero. The record low for Duluth for Christmas Day remains 34 below zero, set in 1879.

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