Much of the nation will see near-record cold

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Today is the day of the year when the Earth gets closer to the sun than it does on any other day. But that doesn't make it any warmer.

In fact, the Arctic air being pushed down into the United States is expected to bring temperatures to around record-low levels in parts of the Midwest when it arrives tomorrow.

Forecasters are calling for readings as low as 25 below zero in Fargo, North Dakota, and 31 below in International Falls, Minnesota. Tomorrow's NFL playoff game in Green Bay, Wisconsin, could be one of the coldest ever played.

Schools have already been closed Monday across Minnesota -- the first statewide closing in 17 years -- because of the extreme low temperatures that are on the way.

When people in the St. Louis area head back to work Monday morning, they could be dealing with a wind chill of 25 below zero. And a forecaster says that's "dangerous." Scott Truett of the National Weather Service says someone who isn't properly dressed for that kind of severe cold could die.

Even places that are accustomed to mild winters will be affected next week. Tuesday's high temperature in Atlanta is expected to be in the mid-20s.

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138-a-13-(Phillip Schumacher, meteorologist, National Weather Service, in AP interview)-"to the airways"-National Weather Service meteorologist Phillip Schumacher says he's been in 30-below-zero temperatures, which makes even breathing difficult. (4 Jan 2014)

<<CUT *138 (01/04/14)££ 00:13 "to the airways"

136-a-12-(Phillip Schumacher, meteorologist, National Weather Service, in AP interview)-"across the area"-National Weather Service meteorologist Phillip Schumacher says Sunday's high in the Sioux Falls area -- the high -- will be a bone-chilling ten below zero. (4 Jan 2014)

<<CUT *136 (01/04/14)££ 00:12 "across the area"

GRAPHICSBANK: Man is bundled against a cold wind as he gets ready to tow a car stuck in the snow, Yardley, Pennsylvania, lettering COLD WEATHER, graphic element on gray (4 Jan 2014)

APPHOTO ILCA101: Sledding enthusiasts take to Cricket Hill at Montrose Beach Park Friday, Jan. 3, 2014, in Chicago. Single-digit temperatures are hitting Illinois after the state was blanketed in snow. Meanwhile, residents are bracing for a deep freeze. Highs early next week likely won't reach zero and wind chills could sink to 45 below. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast) (3 Jan 2014)

<<APPHOTO ILCA101 (01/03/14)££

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