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Grand Forks' frigid Saturday sets another weather record

Grand Forks International Airport broke two records Saturday, but it took a frigid, relentless day to make it one for the record books. The first one happened early in the day. The National Weather Service said the airport recorded a low of 35 de...

Grand Forks International Airport broke two records Saturday, but it took a frigid, relentless day to make it one for the record books.

The first one happened early in the day. The National Weather Service said the airport recorded a low of 35 degrees below zero about 2 a.m., breaking the Jan. 2 record low of 27 below set in 1991.

And the fact that things didn't warm up much Saturday after a chilly start helped set the second record of the day. The airport reached a high of only 17 below, breaking the Jan. 2 lowest maximum temperature record of 13 below in 1968.

But the airport wasn't alone in its weekend chilliness. Park Rapids, Minn., can claim the title of having the coldest air temperature in the region between 7 a.m. Saturday and 7 a.m. Sunday -- the city recorded a bone-chilling low of 35 below, but also reached zero eventually, warmer than most places in the area.

Northeastern Minnesota had even colder lows than the Red River Valley for the same period: International Falls, 37 below; Crane Lake, 36 below; 35 below in Orr, Cook and Bigfork; 33 below in Pine River and Ely; Longville, 31 below; and 30 below in Brainerd.

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Still, North Dakota was nearly as cold: Mayville and Oakes, 31 below; 28 below in Lidgerwood, Fargo and Jamestown; and 27 below in Cavalier, Forman and Pembina.

Other notable low temperatures in Minnesota: Waskish, 33 below; Ottertail, 32 below; Moorhead, 31 below; Sabin, 30 below; Norris Camp and Bemidji, 29 below; and 27 below in Wadena, Roseau and Warroad.

The area around Grand Forks is expected to have a high between zero and 5 below today, dropping down to 15 to 20 below at night with east winds up to 10 mph.

Tuesday will start of mostly sunny with highs between zero and 5 degrees, but there is a slight chance of light snow in the evening as clouds move in.

After midnight, that snow chance increases to 30 percent, and lows are expected to reach 5 to 10 below.

Wednesday could have some light snow during the day, with highs between zero and 5 degrees. The low will return to around 10 to 15 below at night. Temperatures are expected to warm through the weekend, with Sunday forecast to reach between 15 and 20 degrees.

Reach Johnson at (701) 780-1105; (800) 477-6572, ext. 105; or send e-mail to rjohnson@gfherald.com .

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