Sun dogs at dawn Monday morning, Jan. 27. Along Highway 15 near Kimball, it looks like a desolate, god-forsaken place. Add the 20-below temperature and about 45-below wind chill and it feels desolate too. What you can’t see here are the many areas along Highway 15 that had 5- to 6-foot snowdrifts. The highway was closed for several hours Sunday afternoon after a 10-car pileup caused by poor visibility. Sunday afternoon, MnDOT pulled its plow trucks off the road until morning, and the Stearns County Sheriff’s Office asked everyone to stay off the road entirely. Schools in the area were cancelled Monday and Tuesday because of the bitterly cold temperatures and bad road conditions. Each district makes the call to delay or cancel school, and each will have to determine when those days will be made up. Staff photo by Anton Matua.
(The sun dog phenomena occurs when temperatures are very cold and there is moisture in the air. Sunlight is refracted off of ice crystals in the air to form a sort of parentheses around the sun. This can happen with moonlight, too, as moon dogs.)