WILLMAR — With the high temperature forecast to hit only 15 degrees Monday, many probably dug out their winter parkas, gloves and hats for the first time this season. Add in the wind chill and it felt like below zero at times, much colder than people expect to feel on Veterans Day.

The National Weather Service's Twin Cities forecast office, located in Chanhassen, was expecting weather records to fall along with the thermostat readings. The average temperature for Nov. 11 around the central third of the state is the mid-40s. The lowest high on record for the Twin Cities on Nov. 11 is 17 degrees, set in 1986. St. Cloud's lowest high was also recorded in 1986, a high of 20.

With Monday's highs forecast to reach only the mid-teens — 20 to 30 degrees below the average depending on location — the weather service said record temperatures were looking imminent.

Monday's overnight lows were expected to plunge into the single digits, with some places in the state dropping below zero.

The cold temperatures are thanks to an Arctic cold front that plunged south into the United States. By mid-week, everyone from Denver to Texas and all the way to the East Coast will have experienced temperatures much lower than normal.

Blustery winds in the area didn't help matters. By 1 p.m. Monday in Willmar, winds were blowing about 20 mph, with gusts reaching around 25 mph.

Things are expected to get a bit better starting Tuesday. While winds will still be blowing — between 10 to 15 mph with gusts around 25 mph in the afternoon — they'll be coming from the south. This will assist in lifting temperatures closer to average. While Tuesday's forecast high is only 23, by Wednesday and Thursday highs will be closer to the mid-30s. Saturday and Sunday should be even warmer, at or near 40 degrees.

Sun is expected Thursday and Friday before clouds possibly return on Saturday.

According to the weather service, next week looks closer to normal, with no significant cold or warm spells.