Iowa gets a taste of the Arctic

Last week’s cold weather wasn’t much fun to be outside in, but it did make for some pretty sights, thanks to sun dogs forming due to ice crystals in the atmosphere. Karen Penning snapped this photo of vibrant sun dogs last Tuesday morning at her home southwest of Buffalo Center.

Temperatures dipped as low as 30 degrees below zero last week in northern Iowa, as a polar vortex of cold air descended on the upper Midwest.

The dangerously cold weather caused disruptions in day-today life for people in the Buffalo Center area, including a rare suspension of mail delivery on Wednesday and three days of missed classes at North Iowa Community School. The extreme cold was accompanied by strong winds, which made travel difficult for much of last week.

Buffalo Center Postmaster Angie Tompkins says the Post Office was still busy sending out mail last Wednesday, but delivery was canceled on all mail routes. She says this is the first time in her 10 years working with the U.S. Postal Service that they have canceled deliveries due to weather. “There are very, very few days that they will cancel the carriers and say it is downright dangerous,” said Tompkins. Post Office operations got back to normal on Thursday, with a heavy load of mail to deliver.

North Iowa Supt. Joe Erickson says no one he’s talked to can remember ever missing three days of school in a row due to inclement weather. “Every other school district I’ve talked to has never had three days in a row, and all of our employees have never experienced three days in a row,” said Erickson. He notes that last week’s weather was the coldest he’s ever experienced.

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