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'Nation's Icebox' Sets Record With Early Chill

international falls, minn
No snow yet in the Nation's Icebox, but the town set a cold weather record today. (Image credit: International Falls Chamber of Commerce/Pete Schultz.)

Out with the heat, in with the cold.

Just after Wichita Falls, Texas, tallied its 100th day of 100-degree Fahrenheit heat (38 degrees Celsius), temperatures have plummeted across the country's heartland, bringing a record-breaking early cold snap to the "Nation's Icebox," International Falls, Minn.

Also, known as "Frostbite Falls," the town of 6,400 just south of the Ontario, Canada, border recorded 19 F (minus 7 C) this morning (Sept. 15), a record for the town's lowest temperature this early in the year, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). [Related: The Coldest Places on Earth]

"This is the first time [International Falls] had a temperature in the teens recorded in the month of September," said Kevin Kraujalis, a meteorologist with the NWS in nearby Duluth, Minn.

Fraser, Colo., also likes to call itself the Nation's Icebox, but they didn't get quite as cold, with temperatures only in the mid-30s F this morning.

The chilly weather is due to a massive cold front covering the entire state of Minnesota and extending down to Texas, Kraujalis said.

Record lows crept across other parts of Minnesota and the Midwest this morning. Minneapolis-St. Paul bottomed out at 36 F (2.2 C), Rochester at 31 F (minus 0.5 C) and Eau Claire, Wis., at 29 (minus 1.7 C), reported the Weather Channel. Lows in the 20s F swept as far south as northern Iowa.

The cold front sweeping across the nation may have halted, at least temporarily, the seemingly endless hellish weather in such Texas towns as Wichita Falls. The town, near the Oklahoma border, had the first of its 100 days of 100-degree temperatures on April 6, an early preview of what turned out to be a summer of record heat, epic drought and deadly wildfires.

The cold front could cool another Texas town's bid to hit the hundred 100s milestone. San Angelo, Texas, has had 97 such days as of Sept. 13.

Temperatures in Texas were in the 50s and 60s F this morning with highs today forecasted to be in the 80s F.

Another cold front is expected across the state next week, San Angelo NWS meteorologist Nick Reimer told OurAmazingPlanet, which could finally shove away the summer heat for good.

You can follow OurAmazingPlanet staff writer Brett Israel on Twitter: @btisrael. Follow OurAmazingPlanet for the latest in Earth science and exploration news on Twitter @OAPlanet and on Facebook.

Brett Israel was a staff writer for Live Science with a focus on environmental issues. He holds a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and molecular biology from The University of Georgia, a master’s degree in journalism from New York University, and has studied doctorate-level biochemistry at Emory University.