CERRO GORDO COUNTY, Iowa - The bitter cold is not making it feel much like March in North Iowa and Southern Minnesota. In fact, it's been record breaking.
Lows this morning reached -13 in Mason City and -15 in Rochester, both breaking records (-13 and -8, respectively) set in 1978. In addition, high temperatures were well below normal: it was only in the single digits, compared to an average temperature of 34 degrees.
But even with this record breaking and unseasonable cold, life goes on.
Kevin Pope is a farmer, but during the time, he's contracted to remove snow out of track beds for the railroad.
"I've been trying to stay in the shop as much as possible, but with this much snowfall, gotta be out and about moving snow."
While it's still around 30-45 days out from the technical start of planting season, he would like to get tractors and implements inspected before hitting the fields. But he's still keeping busy.
"I always have enough projects to do that winter is not long enough to get everything done I want to do."
At Clear Creek Elementary School in Clear Lake, Stephanie Olk's first grade class is burning off energy indoors.
"In my class, we do spelling word workout. Otherwise, we have recess three times a day where we're keeping them moving. Even when they're indoors, we still come back and do some sort of movement."
Outdoor recess is possible, even in cold temperatures, though within reason, as teachers monitor the wind chill.
"There's one time we had indoor recess and then the degrees went up, and I said, 'OK, we're going out.' So we've even changed within recess time too, and they need that movement, it's super important for development."
With the start of spring roughly two weeks away, they're hopeful that warm weather is on the way.
"We started doing spring crafts, and I told my kids that if we did spring crafts, maybe the snow will go away," Olk said.
"It's time for spring to show up, that's for sure," Pope adds.
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