December 20th in History
Some of the coldest days in the United States
(El Paso) KTSM — How would you define cold? For me, cold is sweater weather.
It's when I have to wear layers of jackets and sweaters because its 40 degrees outside.
For others cold is below freezing. It really all depends on what part of the country you come from.
Today, we reflect back in history to some of the coldest severe weather that happend on December 20th in the pasts few decades.
According to the Weather Channel, on December 20th 1836, a famous cold wave occurred in central Illinois.
A cold front with 70 mph winds swept through at around lunch time dropping the temperature from 40 degrees to near zero in just a matter of minutes.
Many settlers froze to death. Folklore told of chickens frozen in their tracks and men frozen to saddles.
Ice in streams reportedly froze to six inches in a few hours.
In 1987, according to the National Weather Summary, heavy snow fell in the northern mountains of Colorado, with 15 inches reported in the Mary Jane ski area.
Strong and gusty winds prevailed from the Northern High Plains to the Great Lakes.
Winds gusted to 54 mph in Buffalo NY, and reached 66 mph in Livingston MT.
Rain, freezing rain, sleet and snow fell across New England, with up to seven inches of snow in Maine. (any of this sounding familiar?)
Last but not least, in 1989, according to the National Weather Summary, brutal northwest winds ushered bitter cold arctic air into the north central U.S.
International Falls MN and Warroad MN tied for honors as the cold spot in the nation with morning lows of 34 degrees BELOW ZERO.
Minot ND reported a wind chill reading of 81 degrees BELOW ZERO. (can anyone live in those conditions?!)
Squalls produced more heavy snow in the Great Lakes Region.
Erie PA received 21 inches of snow, including four inches in one hour, to bring their total snow cover to 39 inches, an all-time record for that location.
This year, with the wintery snow threat in many parts of the nation, we haven't quite reached those extremes. We have seen significant snow coming down caused by winter storm Cleon and we are currently seeing the effects of snow storm Dion.
El Paso has thankfully not seen this kind of severe weather and hopefully will never see it.