Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Area Gets Numb from Northern Exposure

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Area Gets Numb from Northern Exposure

Article excerpt

The cutting cold that kept St. Louis temperatures in the low teens Friday will stay put today, and minor relief Sunday will be warmer only by comparison.

It could be a lot worse.

Throughout much of the upper Midwest, into Iowa and northern Illinois, temperatures never reached zero Friday, and many places were much colder.

Some temperatures were the lowest recorded since 1985.

In Thief River Falls, Minn., 300 miles north of Minneapolis, the high Friday afternoon was 21 below.

"It's no fun outside," said Dave Carlson, a sheriff's department dispatcher there. "Your cheeks get numb pretty quick. The wind bites, and then you feel nothing, and that's when you know there's trouble."

In St. Louis, the high temperature Friday was 17 at 12:01 a.m., down from Thursday's high of 35. The early morning low Friday was 9 at 5:02 a.m., and the thermometer managed to inch up only to 13 degrees at 3 p.m. before falling again, said Ted Schroeder, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Weldon Spring.

The forecast for today calls for a low of 0 before dawn and a high in the teens, which would make it the coldest day of this winter. The last time temperatures dipped below zero here was Feb. 18 last year.

The low tonight and Sunday morning is expected to be around 10. Sunday offers a chance of snow and a high in the mid-20s, but temperatures will be well below normal into next week, Schroeder said.

On the streets, the cold was not just unpleasant. It was dangerous.

"Business is booming, unfortunately," said Tonia Chandler, director of development for the St. Patrick Center, 1200 North Sixth Street downtown.

Chandler said the center served 250 lunches to homeless people Friday, 50 more than the average winter day. "And everyone stayed as long as they could," she said.

Bill Miller, director of the Salvation Army's Harbor Light shelter, said 178 people stayed overnight Thursday. That is 20 to 30 more than usual. On Friday night, the total again headed toward 175. …

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