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Helmut Schmidt, Published January 31 2013

Some actually prefer our current cold snap; next week should be warmer

FARGO – So, not cold enough for ya?

Red River Valley folk were treated to temps as low as minus 22 or so Thursday night into this morning, with wind chills making it feel like 35 to 40 below in the open.

But those of us coughing up anti-cold rants due to the cold snap need to remember: Some people really do like tundra-like temps.

For Megan Ehrenberg, these Siberian morns are positively poetic.

“I do love it cold. Admittedly, I’d prefer a base minus-15 with no wind, but that’s usually hard to come by in Fargo,” Ehrenberg wrote to The Forum on Thursday.

“There is nothing quite as beautiful as being cozy in your home looking out a window that is bordered with crystallized tendrils of frost snaking towards the center of the glass out into a crisp, bright and sparkling vast of white,” said Ehrenberg, a senior research analyst at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota in Fargo. “The beauty of the sun dogs, the glitter of the clear ice crystals on the crust of each snowy drift, the stillness of the bare trees.”

Yep. She likes that cold.

Ehrenberg and everyone else will have a little less of it today, however.

Today’s forecast calls for a partly sunny high zipping up to about 4 degrees. As the wind dies down, wind chills should only be about 0, said Brad Hopkins, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Grand Forks.

Shan Kahkola, who runs ShanzShack CatSass Rescue in Red Lake Falls, Minn., says such temperatures are a welcome respite from sunny, warm Florida.

“Why do we like it so much? NO BUGS!!! NO SNAKES!!!” she wrote in an email on Wednesday. “Yesterday we returned to Grand Forks, N.D., airport from Orlando area, Fla. In Florida, it was hot, humid and we were bitten by bugs! Snakes are also very prevalent in the hotter weather. Everyone in Florida joked with us about having to return to the ‘frozen tundra’ in Minnesota. Give us Red Lake Falls, Minn., winter anytime!”

Judy German, of Mapleton, N.D., subscribes to the “20 below keeps the riff-raff out” theory of lifestyle improvement.

“I am a southern California transplant for almost 23 years, and I love the cold because it continues to beat sitting in traffic for an extra three hours a day commuting to work or any other location you need to get to!!!” she wrote.

“It beats the crime factor. It beats not knowing your neighbors. I could go on and on,” German added.

The latest frigid shot of cold broke off from the icy air that typically loiters around far northern Canada, Hopkins said.

Now that it has slid on through the area, it will be replaced by a high pressure system to our west, which will bring what are now, after a couple months of winter, considered to be balmy temperatures, Hopkins said.

Saturday will have a high around 26, but it comes with a 50 percent chance of snow, and an overnight low of 2 degrees, the NWS predicts.

So, it’s not bikini and Speedo weather, but shorts could be possible for the heartiest.

Sunday and Monday will see highs of 19, but then daytime highs will climb to 26 degrees by Thursday, the NWS predicts.

To close, we leave you with a last bit of Ehrenberg’s paean to the possibility of frostbite.

“When you do venture outside, there is a tingle on the skin of your cheeks as though being kissed a thousand times,” Ehrenberg said. “The weight of your winter coat and the snugness of your scarf is like being wrapped in a warm hug as you walk. If you open your eyes and look up, it’s as though you can see forever. Give me the ‘warmth’ of a Midwest winter any day.”


Readers can reach Forum reporter Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583