Christmas is coldest in more than two decades in region

Body: 

GRAND FORKS -- Most of the Red River Valley region had its coldest Christmas in more than two decades this year, National Weather Service officials said Monday.

In Grand Forks, with an early-morning low of negative 19 and a high of negative 9 degrees it was the coldest since Christmas 1996, which had a low and high of negative 25 and negative 13 degrees, respectively.

It was the same in Fargo, which had a low of minus 18 and a high during the day of -6. That was the coldest since 1996 when the low was minus 27 and the high was minus 14.

And it’s not going to get much better across much of eastern North Dakota and western Minnesota, with wind chills from minus 35 degrees to minus 45 degrees through Monday night and into Tuesday.

It kicks off a bitterly cold week, with that wind chill warning issued on Monday set to last until Tuesday at 11 a.m.

Cold weather is set to continue for the next 10 days, with a mild respite when temperatures climb several degrees above zero on Thursday, potentially bringing light snow.

“Maybe 10 days from now, we’ll be getting a little bit of a respite, but we’ll probably have to wait for 10 days from now,” National Weather Service Meteorologist Bill Barrett said.

Barrett said some of the possible problems with the weather could be exposed skin could freeze in less than 10 minutes and vehicle battery or auto start trouble is “quite possible.”