The Twin Cities is the coldest major city in North America on Thursday

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Seems like an April Fool’s Day joke doesn’t it?  Well, the only problem is it’s not April, it’s August and temperatures in the afternoon in much of Minnesota were in the low to mid 50s, some 25 degrees below average.  It was so cool in fact, that parts of the state were nearly the coldest in NORTH AMERICA.  That’s right, not just the Lower 48 states, but the whole continent.  Now, there are obviously a couple exceptions include some of the peaks of the Rocky Mountains, especially as you get into central Canada.  But other than a couple of lowish elevation spot receiving rain in Colorado, and a sliver of northeastern Canada, Minnesota was the coldest.  So how did we just become the arctic in August?

Well, it takes a perfect set of circumstances as you’d imagine.  An area of low pressure started developing in the Dakotas Wednesday afternoon along a temperature gradient from a cold front that fell apart in North Dakota a day before.  That low pressure then drastically strengthened as it pushed east, sucking down unusually cool air over the Hudson Bay region in Canada, northeast of Minnesota.  Combine this unusually cool air with a shield of clouds, rain, and drizzle, and you have the recipe for a chilly early August day.  Now, records won’t fall because the metros official high will be in the upper 60s, because that is what the temperature was at midnight, but if we kept records of hourly afternoon temperatures, you can be that this would be one of the coldest August afternoons since 1871.