They were wearing their woollies up in Cotton this week

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COTTON, Minn. -- Cotton, Minnesota took the cake for the lowest of the lows when the northern air paid a visit this week.

By the time the frigid air had us feeling like half-chewed cold cuts, the temperature had bottomed out at 55.9 degrees below zero, winning the blue ribbon for the coldest temperature in the country while simultaneously flirting with the all-time Minnesota low of 60 below. The record was set back in 1996. The town of Tower, up on Lake Vermillion, owns that.

Now, nearly a quarter century later and about four degrees short of infamy, Cotton owns the worst-of-the-worst honors from the arctic assault that shared chunks of its bountiful self with the U.S. this week on its southbound romp that had all our teeth rattling like a paint-shaker wobbling a can full of dice.

For the curious, Cotton is roughly 540 miles north-northeast of Omaha, up there north of Duluth, west of the Cloquet Valley State Forest, east of Sax-Zim Bog and nowhere near hospitable if it's going to act like this.

And for the sake of comparison, that sultry 14-below we saw in the metro Wednesday was more than 40 degrees off the pace they set up in Cotton.