This winter is headed for the record books
With a little help, which appears to be on the way, this winter could slip into the top 10 (or lowest 10, depending on how you look at it) for the coldest winter recorded in Rochester.
According to the National Weather Service, the average temperature at the end of January was 9.8 degrees, making it No. 11 for records that go back to the winter of 1885-86. The 10th coldest was 8.8 degrees in 1977-78. The coldest was 3.9 degrees in 1976-77.
But for those who like to be in the top 10, we're currently No. 9 on the list of most winters with subzero readings through Feb. 1 with 32; the most is 45 in the winter of 1976-77.
The forecast is going to help bring us closer to the top 10 coldest and will pad our sub-zero count.
The service predicts a low of 5 tonight, then it will drop to 2 below zero Tuesday night, 14 below zero Wednesday night, 9 below zero Thursday night and 2 below zero Friday night. Saturday night might only drop down to zero. Highs will be in the teens to single digits.
For the record, the normal high for this time of year is 25 and the low is 9.
Clear your meter
Keep your gas meter's pressure vent dry and clear of snow and ice at all times to avoid the potential for dangerous indoor natural gas buildup.
The vent can become plugged when ice and snow melt during the day and refreeze at night.
Xcel Energy recommends keeping the entire meter assembly clear of snow and ice as well. Accumulated snow can prevent the meter from operating properly by stopping the flow of natural gas. Gently remove snow or ice from the natural gas meter and any associated piping. Carefully shovel around a meter and move snow away from it. Always keep a clear path to your gas meter to allow quick access in an emergency.
If you notice ice on your meter or are concerned that the meter's regulator vent may be blocked, call Xcel Energy at 1-800-895-2999.