Midwest storm’s 1-2-3 punch: Frigid, snowy and icy

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(CNN) — Yes, it happens every year — the snow and the cold.

After all, it is winter, or least late, pre-winter.

But how’s this for a change in the weather?

Wednesday’s official high in Dallas was 80. Thursday night brings freezing rain, sleet and a low in the 20s, according to the National Weather Service.

Yikes, talk about mood swings.

A particularly brutal batch of Arctic air has taken hold across the center of the country, bringing sub-zero temps to the north and sleet as far south as central Texas.

The wintry mix is expected to continue through Sunday and threatens two major events — a downtown Dallas holiday parade on Saturday and the Dallas Marathon on Sunday. Marchers, runners and ice don’t play well together, especially since the marathon typically attracts 25,000 runners, plus family and friends.

And it’s not just Texas. Temperatures will be 10 to 30 degrees below average over the Plains into parts of the Mississippi Valley.

Winter advisories stretch from western New Mexico to southern Ohio. Major icing is forecast from the Southern Plains to the Ozarks and into the Ohio Valley.

Shuffle about 900 miles to the north of Dallas and you’ll find folks who’d love to see temperatures anywhere close to the 20s.

Through the weekend, the highest high in Minneapolis is forecast at 10 degrees. The lowest low — minus 10. If you throw in the wind chill, make it 20 below.

Hot Springs, North Dakota, is anything but. Wind chills there could hit a minus 26.

And there’s snow too, just to add to the shivering misery across the upper Midwest

A winter storm warning covers eastern North Dakota and the northern half of Minnesota.

The Twin Cities area got up to 6 inches of snow on Wednesday. To the north in Two Harbors, Minnesota, residents were digging out from under 3 feet of powder.

Not great for driving, but perfect for snowmobiling — a staple winter activity along the state’s North Shore.

“It’s been a while since we’ve had this much snow in December,” Dixie Bar & Grill owner Deanna Larson told CNN affiliate KARE.

No snow means no customers. So, 3 feet of the white stuff looks like a lot of green to her.

“Actually January, February, March, can be our largest months in business, if we have the right snow.”

They like the snow in Colorado too, but the bitter cold is a different story.

“The thermometer in my truck said 7 degrees when I was driving over here, so it’s cold,” Boulder resident Mani Moniek told affiliate KPLC on Wednesday.

But as cold as that is, it got a lot colder just before midnight, setting a record low for the day at 13 below.

By Ed Payne, CNN

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