Polar Vortex brings record temps as lows fall to -35

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It is rare that the U.S. Postal Service doesn’t deliver the mail, but with wind chills expected to be 50 to 60 below last Wednesday delivery was suspended. Postal carriers were back out Thursday despite wind chills still in the teens to 20s below zero.

Last week’s record cold left its mark not just on Minnesota, but the nation as it spread subzero temperatures to 22 states. Twenty-one deaths are attributed to the cold including two college students; hundreds of schools were closed as well as businesses; and mail delivery was suspended in 10 states.

For western Minnesota, the killer Arctic blast was part of a stretch of nine consecutive days with lows below zero with five record low temperature records broken and the all-time low temperature for Benson of a minus 35 degrees tied twice.

Benson made the CNN news when the wind chill at the National Weather Service recording station at the municipal airport recorded a minus 62-degrees. At the time, the air temperature was a minus 27 degrees with the wind blowing out of the northeast at 31 mph.

For only the third time since the City of Benson started recording daily temperatures in 1953, the high temperature only reached a minus 20 degrees. Last Wednesday’s minus 20 high broke the record low high for Jan. 30 of a minus 14 degrees set back in 1996 – the year of the Big Chill in Minnesota.

Benson’s record low high temperature is a minus 23 degrees set Jan. 18, 1994. It was the last time the temperature failed to rise above a minus 20 degrees. A minus 20-degree high was also recorded Dec. 23, 1983....

 

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Pictured: It is rare that the U.S. Postal Service doesn’t deliver the mail, but with wind chills expected to be 50 to 60 below last Wednesday delivery was suspended. Postal carriers were back out Thursday despite wind chills still in the teens to 20s below zero.

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