Patrick Ferron  /  Green Bay Press-Gazette
Denmark, Wisc., firefighter Don Mahlik battles the cold temperatures while working an apartment fire Thursday.
updated 1/30/2004 12:57:27 PM ET 2004-01-30T17:57:27

Minnesota's used to cold, but overnight temperatures sent a shiver down the spines of even cold-weather veterans.

An arctic mass from central Canada kept an icy grip on the upper Midwest, driving up energy demand and closing some schools. In Minnesota, every weather station reported subzero temperatures Thursday night, according to the National Weather Service.

The high temperature in Thief River Falls, Minn., reached only 24 degrees below zero, after a low temperature of 33 below. In Duluth, the wind chill dropped to 56 degrees below zero.

A low temperature of 37 below zero in Great Falls, N.D., broke a record for the date of 34 below set in 1966, the weather service said.

“When they turn this funny, storybook purple and have this tingling, biting sensation — then I know it’s pretty cold,” said polar explorer Ann Bancroft, referring to her exposed cheeks as she trained for a hike across the Arctic Ocean in February 2005.

Across Wisconsin, temperatures dipped to as low as 26 below in Drummond and Solon Springs, a low of 25 below in Butternut, and 24 below in Upson and Hayward.

In Sheboygan, Wis., the cold weather and a reduced lake level on Lake Michigan caused icing in two water intake pipes, part of the water system serving Sheboygan, Sheboygan Falls and Kohler.

Schools in Ashland, Wis., closed as the temperature dropped to 21 below zero, with a 47 below wind chill.

In Minnesota, Bancroft, 48, appreciated the thick snow and jabbing cold as she trained for next year’s trans-Arctic Ocean trek.

“It is so astoundingly beautiful when it’s cold,” she said. “It’s a great way to get your mind focused on what you are training for.”

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