A blast of exceptionally frigid air gripped much of the Upper Midwest this past week. The blast was so intense that many locations recorded their coldest temperatures in decades. The small community of Cotton, Minnesota reached a bone chilling -56 degrees Fahrenheit early Thursday. It was just four degrees warmer than the State record cold temperature in Minnesota, which was set in 1996 in the town of Tower.
Even the larger cities were not spared the frigid temperatures. On Wednesday, Chicago, Illinois recorded a high temperature of -10 degrees, a low of -24, for an average of -17 for the day. It the second-coldest day ever recorded in Chicago, the record is -18 set on Christmas Eve 1983.
Fortunately for the frozen region, relief from the cold is on the way. By Monday, temperatures may reach close to 50 degrees (above zero) in Chicago with 60s possible towards St. Louis. Rain in expected Monday near Chicago as a low pressure system tracks well to the north. However, much of Minnesota, including Cotton, is expected to receive snow from this system.