Non start 03 ford expedition

After a recent snow storm parked expedition in drive,got down to -28. Next morning started fine,went to store after again driving in snow and parked for 14 hrs. Long and short of it is starter wouldnt turn until we heated it a min or 2 with a heat gun,then it started right up. Drove 5 hrs home from snowmobile trip , parked over night -5 degrees same thing,heat gun for 45 sec and it started fine. Any ideas whats causing this? Hoping not to have to change a starter outside in single digits or less if its something else

Sure sounds like the starter is on the way out . . .

The starter might have an internal connection problem. If the trouble really is with the starter you should be hearing a loud click coming from the starter solenoid. If not then I would suspect a safety switch problem in the solenoid circuit. The car is at the right age for the starter solenoid contacts to be going bad. Another possibility is the main battery cable has internal corrosion. Clean the battery connections.