-59 wind chill, -29 temp
By Seth Schmidt
Pick your adjective for the weather this week:
• Snowy. Five to 10 inches of snow is expected in the Tracy area from Tuesday through Thursday night, according to National Weather Service forecasts, as another winter storm system moves through Minnesota. The new snow will add to already packed ditches and boulevards. As of Tuesday morning, about 22 inches of snow had fallen in Tracy since Jan. 18. Twelve of the past 20 days have brought measurable precipitation.
• Cold. The brutally cold temperatures that froze the region last week were the coldest for the region since 1996. Official readings of -25 for Tuesday, Jan. 29; -28 for Wednesday, Jan. 30; and -22 for Thursday, Jan. 31; resulted in Tracy schools closing Tuesday and Wednesday, and starting classes two hours late Thursday. Wind-chills plunged to a negative 59 degrees last Wednesday.
• Windy. Northwesterly winds in excess of 20 MPH whipped across the region often during the past week. The latest, which occurred Monday evening, made long underwear and stocking caps mandatory outerwear.
• Wildly variable. A warm-up that began Friday sent temperatures soaring to 43 degrees Saturday and 38 degrees Sunday. The Saturday high represented a 71-degree temperature swing from the -28 overnight on Jan. 30.
• Treacherous. Melting weekend snow was re-frozen with the return of sub-zero temperatures early this week, leaving slick coatings of ice on sidewalks and roads Monday. Tracy schools opened two hours late Monday morning because of difficult travel conditions. An icy-mist late Saturday and early Sunday created precarious travel for folks venturing out to church. Pundits advised Minnesotans to “walk like a penguin” to avoid falls.
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Saturday, Feb. 2, was “Groundhog Day,” the mid-point between the winter and spring solstices. The first day of spring, March 20, is now just six weeks away.