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Get your chill on

Vostok, Antarctica is reporting -97°F at this hour, with a -105°F dewpoint. Not a record by any means but still pretty darn cold. They're in austral winter darkness and only get a faint brightening on the northern horizon for about an hour each day (the sun remaining about 5-10 deg below the horizon).

What's the coldest temperature you ever experienced... and can positively attest to from a real observation, and without wind chill readings? For me it was -6°F in Illinois in February 1993. I remember driving my Nissan to meteorology classes around dawn, and the car was incredibly stiff. It felt like driving a board.

Tim
 
I can't positively confirm the exact number, but in January of 1996 I'm pretty sure the temp was around -10 degrees, in southen Oklahoma near Healdton. I was on my way home to Norman from my parents' house around 3am, when my driveshaft fell out. Fortunately, I had only gotten about 7-8 miles north of town. I began walking, strapping my winter coat down tight, gritting my teeth, and putting one foot in front of the other. I deal with cold weather better than most people, but this was bone-chilling.

I'd probably gone 2-3 miles when I was passed by a tank truck, headed north. About an hour later, the same truck passed me again headed south, except this time the guy stopped and didn't offer but TOLD me to get in and take a ride. (He'd been on a run the first time he passed on a deadline). He drove me to the mini-refinery/station where he was headed, and I drank coffee while he completed his paperwork, then he took me the rest of the way to my folks' place (another 5-6 miles into town).

Not sure about the exact temp, but I'm almost positive it was between -10 and -15.
 
-18 sometime in late 90s. It was actually in March too. Sort of odd how it works cause every few years we get a couple week stretch here where it's -5 to -10 at night and up to 0 to 5 during the day. Not untypical to have highs below zero for a few days. It's so enjoyable having a job outside in that crap. At least being in a cold region means summers aren't bad......errrrrr, not. Liking this 'summer' so far however.
 
Coldest temperature I've experienced was right here in Norman. I observed an air temperature of +8 degrees F on two occasions - once in March 2002 and again in January 2004. I had spent all my life in CA up until 1999 - the coldest temperature I ever experienced there was 14F in December 1990.
 
My coldest to date was -5 degrees in 1992 in northern Colorado while I was on my way to Washington state and not a motel in sight. There was blowing snow and about two inches of ice on the roadway. It was a very slow and interesting trip to say the least.
 
My coldest so far (and coldest ever in Knoxville) was -24F on Jan 21, 1985. Was working in ER at the time and was snowed in at the hospital. Think that time I stayed at work for something like 5 days pulling 16 hour shifts to cover for everybody who couldn't get in...I was exhausted, but the overtime rocked!!

Angie
 
Visualize Hot Chocolate

What's the coldest temperature you ever experienced...

For me it was the top of a Tahoe ski area called Incline in the Sierra Nevada. At the top of the lift the temp measured -30 degrees F. Snow was blowing off the cornices and it was so cold that even my Neoprene face mask had actually frozen. It was the first time I ever had that happen. That was the most wicked cold I have ever experienced but once you're up, you're committed to make that damn run anyway even when conditions change suddenly for the worse. That's when you learn to practice visualization!

The topic of cold though feels so nice about now. It is 108 degrees in PHX today and tonight I'm running up the Mogollon Rim (alpine terrain about 1 hr from home) to photograph a wildfire. The thing is generating a pyroCu so large it can be seen all the way from PHX. Think ice.
 
The coldest I can recall without windchill was this past winter, early January. We hit ambient temp of -25C (-13F). The following day windchills were pushing -40C. And wouldn't you know it, we had one of our wireless access points fail! I had to climb 160' and repair it...ugh...

Be well, TR
 
Coldest I was ever in was -39 C (and yes I did go outside to play just to say I had).....the only reason I remember the actual temp is because the schools would not close until it hit -40 C (or F for that matter :shock: ). This was when I was in elementary school up in Edmonton Alberta. Although I miss Canada and skiing I am not sure I can say I miss those frigid temps. The coldest I ever skied in was -32 C. It was so cold that you would take one or two runs and then hit the chalet to warm up. The ONLY good thing about those temps is that the lines are sure short :lol:

Graham Butler
[email protected]
 
Around Christmas 1983 or1984 it got down to -24F with -60 degree wind chill due to strong winds here in Ohio. Winters here seem to be moderating the last 20 years or so and we only occasionally get down to sub zero readings anymore-knock on wood !

Jon Miller
 
The coldest temperature I have expereinced was -27F in Chicago. Also in January 1994, in Pittsburgh, the low dropped to -22F. This was just part of a record cold outbreak in western PA. It was so cold, that the Governor of PA closed all the schools in the state to save on energy!! The coldest wind chill I have experienced was also in Chicago duing the winter of 1982 where it was -85F!!!
 
I remember one of the Christmas's in the mid-1990s when the temperature at my house (near St. Paul, MN), read with an accurate thermometer, got to -30F. With temps this cold, I just HAD to try the 'water freezing instantly' experiment ... Sure enough, if you throw a glass of water into the air, it does freeze before it hits the ground! Had to do that several times, since the sound of nearly instantly-frozen water hitting the ground was pretty neat.

I also remember the night that the MN state cold record was broken -- Tower, way up in the ne part of the state, got to -60F. Well, some of the official thermometers given to the folks up there by the NWS actually froze -- as was the case for the coop observer in Embarrass, MN. Since the thermometer froze, she used another thermometer of similar type and recorded a temperature of -61F. However, since it wasn't taken with the official thermometer, it was not counted, and thus the -60F Tower measurement was the new state record...
 
I've been through some cold weather, but the most recent one I remember was last Jan when it was -14 on campus. :(
 
Bloomington, Indiana reached -27F one very early morning last winter. I was not outside or even awake. Coldest wind chill I've ever felt was prolly around -30F in Tomah, Wisconsin, where I spent a few years growing up, and later in the Twin Cities in January of 1997, where my new job (based in S Florida!) sent me on an assignment. Nice of them, eh?
 
Bloomington, Indiana reached -27F one very early morning last winter. I was not outside or even awake. Coldest wind chill I've ever felt was prolly around -30F in Tomah, Wisconsin, where I spent a few years growing up, and later in the Twin Cities in January of 1997, where my new job (based in S Florida!) sent me on an assignment. Nice of them, eh?

That reminds of the time back in 1997 (I think, or 96) when the governor (NOT Jesse Ventura at the time lol) closed school statewide for cold weather. Windchills were colder than -60 (using the old scale) across the entire state, well they were forecast to be anyways. Highs ranged from -10 in the far south to -30 in the north I think, though temps near the Twin Cities stayed in the -10-20 range most of the daylight hours. Whatever it was, it was dang cold, that's all I know.
 
Bloomington, Indiana reached -27F one very early morning last winter. I was not outside or even awake. Coldest wind chill I've ever felt was prolly around -30F in Tomah, Wisconsin, where I spent a few years growing up, and later in the Twin Cities in January of 1997, where my new job (based in S Florida!) sent me on an assignment. Nice of them, eh?

That reminds of the time back in 1997 (I think, or 96) when the governor (NOT Jesse Ventura at the time lol) closed school statewide for cold weather. Windchills were colder than -60 (using the old scale) across the entire state, well they were forecast to be anyways. Highs ranged from -10 in the far south to -30 in the north I think, though temps near the Twin Cities stayed in the -10-20 range most of the daylight hours. Whatever it was, it was dang cold, that's all I know.

Dude, that's when I was there! Now I remember the news talking about the coldest winter in X number of years, and all my friends thought it was hilarious that I got sent up there just then. Especially since the company HQ (where my office was) was in Fort Lauderdale. I stayed in a motel in the Twin Cities and remember the wind howling underneath the door at night. What a nightmare.
 
-5F in Montgomery, WV back in either 1994 or 1995, don't remember the date. We put small glasses of water on the outside windowsill and watched the water quickly freeze. Didn't go outside ;)
 
I have seen some COLD winters, but the winter of '88-'89 was a memorable one. I was living in Sandpoint, Idaho and the house we lived in had hot water piping for heat. Well, I do remember seeing -20F on my thermometer with out windchill, but know it got colder. Anyways, in a nutshell- major snowstorm with sub freezing temps, pipes froze and broke in 17 places in the house (we are talking inside closets, bathroom, living room, etc) and thankfully had installed a rudementary woodstove that fall and had chopped 3 cords of wood. The 4 of us (the ex, me, 3 yr old son and daughter, 6mo) lived in one corner of the livingroom (next to wood stove) with all exits/doorways/windows blocked by blankets and plastic sheeting. Lived like that for 4 days, until the weather broke and we could attempt to get somewhere safer until we fixed the pipes. No water, no cooking except on top of the wood stove. Was a trip to say the least! :shock:
At that time I drove a '47 Willys Jeep and parked on the snow berms since the roads were always one narrow lane each way and over 6' berms on each side every winter. No typo, it was a '47, I miss that Willys.... :D
 
I remember one of the Christmas's in the mid-1990s when the temperature at my house (near St. Paul, MN), read with an accurate thermometer, got to -30F.

Not sure if it was the same arctic outbreak, but I was visiting family in Marquette, MI for Christmas in the mid '90s, and the temp hit -32F one morning. It may have been '96, when Marquette, MI set a record for snowfall (lake effect snow, strongly related to arctic outbreaks)... They got something like 16-20FT of snow for the winter (actually from fall through spring). When I was there, they had 4-5FT on the ground... When they get snow up there, you usually have to wait until mid spring for it to ALL melt off...
 
Coldest temperature I've experienced was around -24°F on January 19, 1994 in the Cincinnati area. A severe winter storm has hit the area the day before, with widespread 1/2" ice accumulation and around 6-7 inches of snow in the metro area (nearly 2 feet in isolated areas south of the Ohio River). I don't really recall there being a wind chill. The high temperature on the 19th barely made it to zero.
 
Hah, I have you all beat!

Coldest temp I ever experienced was -60F (and below) with -100F windchills. I worked in a freeze dry company and the food had to be chilled to these temps (using huge fans to supercool them, hence the high windchills), before they could go into the vacuum chambers. Needless to say, we wore US military issue arctic survival gear and when you were moving around multi-ton carts laden with frozen food, you really worked up a sweat.

Coldest temps I have experienced outdoors were in 1978, when it hit -10F at my home in Mt. Angel, OR. This was in NW Oregon. Oregon's coldest temp, -56F, was recorded back in the 1930's in Seneca, in a high valley in eastern Oregon; for a long time it was the official low temp of the lower 48 states.
 
-30F while shooting photos of ice fishing activities on Seymour Lake in Morgan, Vermont a couple winters ago.

There was a decent breeze too... had on about 3 pairs of socks but still my toes went numb in the matter of minutes!

Do I miss it? Absolutely! Cold weather is good for you, it builds character, and it gives you bragging rights when you move to the desert :)
 
-18 sometime in late 90s. It was actually in March too. Sort of odd how it works cause every few years we get a couple week stretch here where it's -5 to -10 at night and up to 0 to 5 during the day. Not untypical to have highs below zero for a few days. It's so enjoyable having a job outside in that crap. At least being in a cold region means summers aren't bad......errrrrr, not. Liking this 'summer' so far however.
I'm not sure of the year but I remember a year in the early to mid 90's where it was -21 with -60 windchills.

I hate Nebraska winters but agree this summer ROCKS. Its not often I get to wear a sweatshirt and sweats at the end of June.
 
I lived in the MSP area as a kid from '63 to '68, and I don't know about actual temps, but I know on weekends we were out on the pond playing hockey all day in sub-zero temps.

I moved to Denver just in time for Christmas-time 1983, when Denver's record stretch of sub-zero (F) temps was set. I think it was about 5 days when the temp stayed below zero.

Bob
 
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