UPDATE Friday: Wind chill advisories prompt school delays, closings in Hiawatha Valley
Ellsworth and Plum City school district canceled classes for today, while Red Wing, Cannon Falls, Hudson and River Falls were two hours late.
The Ellsworth superintendent's decision was announced around 8 p.m. Thursday at the Ellsworth wrestling match. Ellsworth also has canceled Kids Club.
Plum City's announcement came around 9 p.m.
Nearby Red Wing, River Falls and Hudson school districts will open two hours late, officials said Thursday.
Red Wing has no morning preschool; Red Cottage Montessori is closed.
The National Weather Service has issued wind chill advisories for Goodhue, Pierce, Pepin and St. Croix counties.
The Republican Eagle and RiverTown Newspaper Group will update school closings and delays as they are announced.
Lows Thursday are anticipated to be the coldest in more than a year, with minus 15 degrees possible in the Red Wing area.
The National Weather Service in Chanhassen, Minn. issued a winter weather and wind-chill advisory until 9 a.m. Friday, Jan. 21 for all of west-central Wisconsin, the Twin Cities metro area and south-central Minnesota.
Forecasters expect temperatures to dip to their lowest of the season tonight - Jan. 21. They warn of dangerously low wind chills - between minus 25 and minus 40 - coming with the sub-zero temperatures.
Gusts of 25-35 mph in the advisory area are already causing blowing and drifting snow as well as limited visibility.
A strong arctic cold front continues to push in colder air and will lower temperatures to minus 15 or minus 20. NWS predicts that temperatures will begin to level off overnight and rise just before daybreak.
People are advised to take precautions against hypothermia and frostbite by covering exposed skin with hat, gloves, scarf and several layers of clothing.