To be fair, we don't have to worry about hurricanes, earthquakes or volcanoes. But once every decade or two the North Pole shifts south, temporarily, leaving all of us scrambling for cover and a warm, safe place to hibernate for a few days.
All those tales of frigid hardship your grandparents scared you with growing up will come true over the next 36 hours as the "polar vortex" - air that should be over the Arctic Circle - sails over our heads.
Pluto, with lakes.
According to NOAA the mercury has stayed at or below zero for at least four consecutive days on 27 occasions in the Twin Cities from 1873 to 2014. The record? 1 week below zero in 1912.
What makes this cold wave notable and potentially historic is a strong pressure gradient whipping up a stubbornly evil wind of 15-25 mph. With air temperatures near -25F early Monday that will make for an otherworldly wind chill of -55F.
Exposed skin can become frostbitten in 5 minutes.
Closing down Minnesota schools Monday was a good idea. And if your car stalls or breaks down call 911 or AAA. Wait for help to reach you.
We top zero on Wednesday; 30s this weekend will feel toasty. For the record, this is the worst of winter, possibly the coldest air since 1996.
Think warm thoughts. Be careful out there.
Record Territory. We'll come close to setting the all-time record low for Monday, January 6 - a better chance of setting a record for the coldest maximum temperature tomorrow (previous record is -14F set in 1909). Data: NOAA.
* more details on how the wind chill is derived from NOAA here.