(FOX 9) - As of Tuesday afternoon, the wind chill in the Twin Cities had already dropped to 39 degrees below zero and it is going to keep getting colder.
Dangerous wind chills of 45 below to 65 below zero are expected from Tuesday night through Thursday morning. A Wind Chill Warning remains in effect until 9 a.m. on Thursday.
This week’s cold could be historic as the forecasted low air temperature for Wednesday morning is 28 degrees below zero, close to the record low of 30 below for the Twin Cities on that day. The coldest temperature ever recorded in Minnesota was 60 degrees below zero in Tower on Feb. 2, 1996.
When wind chills drop to 40 to 50 degrees below zero, frostbite is possible in less than five minutes. The National Weather Service said the cold can be life-threatening for anyone spending a prolonged period of time outdoors without proper protection.
Due to the cold, most schools, colleges and universities in the metro have canceled classes for Tuesday and Wednesday. Grocery stores, restaurants, museums and business are also closing their doors or sending employees home early. Even the Ice Castles in Excelsior have decided it is too cold to stay open. The Minnesota Senate canceled all of its hearings scheduled for Wednesday.
Authorities are working to get those without a place to stay indoors. Warming stations are open at youth shelters, homeless shelters, churches and more across Hennepin County. A list of options is available on their website.
Ramsey County opened Union Depot on Monday night and were able to house 70 unsheltered people. The building will be open again Tuesday night from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. Wednesday.
Metro Transit is also allowing people to remain on buses and the light rail during the cold weather as long as they are not disruptive.
Stay up to date during this week's winter weather by downloading the FOX 9 Weather App. It has the latest temperatures, snow totals, forecasts and school closings 24/7.
Here are wind chill values at 1 PM across the region. These are VERY DANGEROUS conditions and can lead to frostbite on exposed skin in as little as 5 minutes where wind chill values are below -50. Best thing you can do is limit your time outside. #mnwx #wiwx pic.twitter.com/WblIk17rqQ— NWS Twin Cities (@NWSTwinCities) January 29, 2019