Do you remember when temperatures dropped so cold that the house cracked and lights shattered? It’s the 24th anniversary of a very impressive weather event- the 1994 record cold outbreak.

Temperatures plummeted to -53 degrees in Amasa, MI. It was Chicago’s coldest week on record. Dozens of people passed away due to hypothermia. The image above shows the widespread nature of the extreme cold. Look at all the temperatures that 25 degrees or more below normal. That meant lows were around -20 across a large segment in the upper Midwest, Great Lakes, Ohio Valley and Northeast. Highs didn’t even warm up to zero in many of these areas. Take a look at the January 19 morning lows.

The major cold spell was caused by a huge dip in the jet stream allowing for Polar air to drop southward.16% of the nation recorded temperatures at -20 or colder. The stunning fact was 90% of the country was below freezing.

A video story on the heavy snowstorm that helped usher in the major cold, plus more fun fact about this bone-chilling weather period is below. While it certainly hasn’t been as cold as 1994 it has been well below average in spots this winter. Will it warm up? 

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About Brian Ivey

Brian is the President of Neoweather and has be one of the leaders of the organization since joining in 2011. Brian graduated with a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from Kent State University and meteorology from Mississippi State University. Brian worked as a meteorologist and reporter in Youngstown and interned at Cleveland TV stations WKYC and WEWS. He loves Cleveland sports and enjoys going to games. You can also find him trying new spots to eat, traveling and being active outside.
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