WESTBROOK, Minnesota (STPNS) --     special If you think it has been abnormally cold, in December, you would be correct. According to the National Weather service, the average  maximum temperature was 21.1 degrees, the average minimum temperature was 2.2 degrees. The average temperature for December was 11.6 degrees. The up side of this is the average wind speed was just 9.0 miles per hour. The highest wind speed was recorded on December 28 at 35 miles per hour with gusts recorded at 44 miles per hour.

    The bad news is the cold is expected to last into the middle of January.

    For snow totals we are on the same pace as last year with 12.6 inches in December compared to 12.7 inches in 2012. Normal for the same period is only 8.2 inches of snow fall.

    We can be thankful that we are not farther east, where not only brutal cold is settling in, but heavy snow and freezing rain is happening all the way to the east coast.

    Last Friday Governor Mark Dayton declared that all public schools in Minnesota were  to be closed on Monday January 6. Temperatures were expected to get down as low as -30 degrees with wind chills as low as 70 below.

    Governor Arne Carlson was the first governor to close schools for extreme cold weather, in January of 1994.

    However the last time a Minnesota governor closed the schools for extreme cold was in January of 1996 when Carlson closed schools for a second time. At  that time wind chill factors were down to minus 55 degrees.

    The figures in this story were recorded at Sioux Falls, South Dakota.