Temperatures more than 50 degrees below zero are continuing in the little northeastern Minnesota town of Embarrass.
“Yesterday, we had to go to town and buy some groceries. That’s the first time I’d been out of the house for at least four to five days,” said Adrienne Fowler.
Sunday’s low in Embarrass was 56 below zero, the fourth day of the past five with lows more than 50 below. And a couple of days earlier, nearby Tower dipped to 60 below. That’s real temperatures, too - not the wind chill index.
Everyday thermometers can’t cope. “A lot of people are having to buy new thermometers,” said Fowler, whose husband, Roland, is a volunteer observer for the National Weather Service.
She has been keeping warm indoors with her sewing. But a few people in town have been braving the cold to dig paths to their backyard saunas, some of which have been in use since they were built by hardy Finnish settlers in the early 1900s, Adrienne Fowler said.
The past week of snow, ice and cold has been blamed for 59 deaths across the lower 48 states. Most have occurred in traffic accidents.
It was the coldest weekend of the season in Texas, with lows of 3 below zero in the Panhandle city of Amarillo and 6 above in Abilene. In Louisiana, Baton Rouge had a record low of 15.
Ice-downed power lines left thousands without light and heat in parts of the Southeast, with some 295,000 customers with no power in North Carolina.