Let it snow (no!)

The coldest day so far this year in southwest North Dakota was Feb. 1 with a high temperature of 13 below zero and a low of 24 below zero, said Rob Miller, Accuweather meteorologist.

The coldest day so far this year in southwest North Dakota was Feb. 1 with a high temperature of 13 below zero and a low of 24 below zero, said Rob Miller, Accuweather meteorologist.

"This winter's temperatures and snowfall have been fairly consistent with the past three winters," Rob Miller said. "But the difference this year is that it has been highlighted with extreme spells, spells when it's just been persistently, brutally cold."

One example Miller gave was that in November for five days straight the temperature at night was well below zero.

He said this winter so far the temperature has been about 2 1/2 degrees below normal on average and we have received about 37 inches of snow which is 30 percent below normal.

"It's been much colder and dryer this year than in year's past," Miller said. He added that we have had 35 days where the temperature has been below zero, including six days where that was the high temperature.


"Now none of this is including wind chill," Miller said. "Wind chill is what the temperature actually feels like; for example, if it's 10 degrees outside and there is a 15 mph wind, it will feel a lot colder than 10 degrees because the wind is blowing away heat from your body."

According to the National Weather Service, the weather in Montana hasn't been any better.

The National Weather Service says at least six Montana towns surpassed record low temperatures for Feb. 26, with Jordan and Wolf Point leading the way at 34 below.

Weather officials tell the Billings Gazette that on Saturday morning Malta was at minus 33, Miles City minus 31, Saco minus 30 and Glendive minus 27. Glasgow tied the record at minus 30.

Officials say more records are possible as additional communities report overnight lows.

The agency predicts the bitter cold will ease through the rest of the weekend.

Stacy Chadwick, a quality management official for West River Health Services in Hettinger, said despite how cold it's been they have not seen any cold weather injuries.

"North Dakotans are tough," Chadwick said. "Most people know the drill when it comes to cold weather."


Chadwick said wearing layers and winter gear like coats, caps, gloves and scarves to cover bare skin and going inside to warm up once in a while when working outside are some ways of preventing cold weather related injuries.

"Another thing to keep in mind is staying warm when traveling," Chadwick said. "You hear all kinds of bad stories about what happens when people leave their vehicles after going in the ditch."

Scott Kreitinger, an auto tech at Advanced Collision Center in Dickinson agreed and added car owners should think about weather conditions even before they go out.

"If you do feel it's safe to travel, one thing you should always do in the winter is let your vehicle run awhile to warm it up," Kreitinger said. "For my own personal car I let it run about 15 minutes before driving it."

He added that a good way to tell if your vehicle is ready to drive is to try and turn the steering wheel.

"If it turns easy you are ready to go," Kreitinger said. "If it feels a little stiff let it run a bit yet -- but never let your vehicle run in a closed garage."

Another thing he suggested was to do a vehicle inspection, check your tires, oil, gas, etc. before driving.

"You should do that no matter what season it is, Kreitinger said. "But checking tire pressure is especially important in the winter because of slippery roads."


Kreitinger added that it doesn't hurt to get your car washed every once in a while during the winter too.

"Road salt can cause the undercarriage of a vehicle to rust," Kreitinger said. "We don't have to worry about it too much here, but having your vehicle washed can prevent some of the rusting. Just be sure you spend some extra time in the dryer portion of the wash; you don't want the windows or doors to freeze."

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