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Old 01-30-14, 07:35 PM   #26
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Just think how much colder it would be without global warming.
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Old 01-30-14, 07:43 PM   #27
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I had a feeling that this year would be an old-school winter, not like we've had for the past few years. The winters in my memory were always a couple of weeks of single-digit temps in January and another one or two in February. And lots of lake-effect. That's pretty much what we've had so far this year, although maybe a little less snow than was typical back then.

There were a few winters in the 70s where I remember freezing most of the time. Then again, I was pumping gas after school, and too cool to really dress properly.

As I recall, the winter of '66 was really cold here. I'm told '59 was really cold too, but I was only 2 then, so I don't remember it. My father still complains it was so cold they had to borrow money to pay for an extra coal delivery.

If I knew it would shut him up about it, I'd have a truckload of the stuff delivered to him now. Of course, with a gas furnace, it wouldn't do a lot of good.
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Old 01-30-14, 08:44 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
purdue is close enough to chicago for government work.

i've lived in chicago for 37 years. i lived through all the winters of the late 90s. trust me, this winter is different. the level of extreme cold is otherworldly (-50 windchills WTF?????), along with a persistent sustained cold WAY below normal.

we haven't had a winter this harsh since i was a young child in the early 80s. the winters of the late 90s might as well have been florida by comparison (intended exaggeration).
Just to second this. I've been living in Chicago since the mid 90s and this winter is definitely different. Not just how cold it is, but also for how many days it has been cold. If you think that the average daytime high for January is in the low 30s. We have had easily 20-30 degrees below that for last several weeks.
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Old 01-30-14, 09:30 PM   #29
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According to Tom Skilling chief meteorologist for wgn t.v in the Chicago tribune newspaper today
this is #7 out the top 10 worst winters ever in Chicago
I don't know but it seems like the worst to me
and I have lived here 45 miles north of Chicago for 55 years
I guess I just dont have the tolerance for it anymore
I would take some 40 degree temps and be quite happy about now
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Old 01-30-14, 10:16 PM   #30
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I think so, yeah, here in Southern Maryland.

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Old 01-30-14, 10:42 PM   #31
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In south-central Indiana, as far as I'm concerned, we've had four days of bitter cold, and one snowfall worth mentioning. Temperature wise it's actually been cold enough to kill off some insects unlike recent years, but the snow... that's not even top ten. I know people are acting like it's practically a minor ice age, but that's what we get with 24/7 news and weather that shows every snowflake.
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Old 01-30-14, 11:11 PM   #32
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It's been a non-winter here. Well, it did snow one time in December.
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Old 01-30-14, 11:29 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WestMass View Post
..... This year it seems like we have more single digit lows every week than we usually have in a whole winter.
Anyone else feel this way?
I am more than twice your age... and this winter seems pretty typical.
The winter of 98-99 was colder than this one..... with more snow.
We had a fiercely cold winter in the Midwest.... I think in 93-94. 23 below zero stuff.
The winter (blizzard) of '78 was awful. Everything failed... cars, power, water lines. We had 60 continuous days of freezing or colder.... and 30 days below zero.
I think it was '56 when we had several feet of snow accumulation. All cars were rear wheel drive [back then]... everyone used chains. Roads were nearly impassable. In the spring we had floods.
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Old 01-31-14, 12:46 AM   #34
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2 years ago it was colder with more snow. This one has been quite warm so far.
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Old 01-31-14, 04:09 AM   #35
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I guess winter skipped over us here in Cali, and decided to hit everyone else even worse. better luck next year

this is the best winter I can think of to be in the bike industry, the normal no man's land of January has turned into cycling bliss, and sales have remained strong.
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Old 01-31-14, 05:20 AM   #36
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I was in Iowa in 1995. Hit -40 F with a wind chill of -70 F, so no.
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Old 01-31-14, 05:43 AM   #37
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Do doubt this has been one of the coldest winters in recent memory here. Its more like I remembered prior to the "el nino" and "la nina" years and the good long mild winter streak after that. I can recall more snow here a few years back, but this year still has enough to hold its own. I know where I live so I expect and even welcome Old Man Winter. Just as long as he's willing to let go of his grip come spring. Sure wanted to stick around through April last year.

As far as data for Western Mass? How about weather channel records & averages for Pittsville: http://www.weather.com/weather/wxcli.../monthly/01201
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Old 01-31-14, 07:51 AM   #38
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This morning was my second commute of the week. I rode even though the forecast said it would be 16F. When I woke up it was actually 25F so I had to completely change my clothing plan. The wind was a little tough. Can't remember the last time I only average 10.5mph on a commute!!!
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Old 01-31-14, 08:51 AM   #39
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Disclosure: I don't commute, I just like to read you guys here. I wish I could commute, but that doesn't surpass the fact that I want to live in out in the country.

Ok, said that because I will mention cars, LOL. I don't have an outside thermometer in my car, but I've been hearing what everyone else is seeing. It hasn't been very many days, but everyone is stating below -20. Wednesday, one of the guys who drives from the same area I do said it was -32 through the one section along our commute.

I can't recall temps from when I was a kid. The coldest was in 1993 when we had a period of sustained -20 to -24.

The thing with official records and such is, it is only in specific places where the official temps are taken from. Wednesday, the low temp was -17 at the airport because that is where the news gets the temps from for this area. 20 minutes away, my coworker has a phone picture of that -32. In the work parking lot, which is 10 minutes away from the "official" temp, everyone was stating -27.

So, is it the coldest it's ever been in my lifetime? Officially I don't know. It is the coldest in the general area that I've been living taking into account a 30 mile radius though because I prior to Wednesday, the coldest I have ever felt in the day to day function of my life was -24 and Wednesday I experienced -32.

What is strange is, I went out to my car this morning and it was 29 above freezing. That's still cold! Yet, I didn't feel the need to start and warm up my car, I didn't put on a jacket, just went with the flannel shirt I wear in the fall and spring, and I had the window down a half inch or so driving in to work today. Just a month ago, I would have been bundled up at 27 like I was going on an adventure at the north pole. Funny how your perception of the temperatures change depending if you are coming from a spell of high temps or a spell of low temps.
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Old 01-31-14, 08:54 AM   #40
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This is probably the warmest (When the sun is out) and driest winter of my adult life.. it's still getting below freezing in the nights/morning and sometimes into the 70's during the day. Truly bizarre and makes it hard for commuting.. layers are your friends and a stow bag too.
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Old 01-31-14, 09:04 AM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
In south-central Indiana, as far as I'm concerned, we've had four days of bitter cold, and one snowfall worth mentioning. Temperature wise it's actually been cold enough to kill off some insects unlike recent years, but the snow... that's not even top ten. I know people are acting like it's practically a minor ice age, but that's what we get with 24/7 news and weather that shows every snowflake.
I agree that media attention tends to exaggerate these weather events. You've got more than half the population constantly carrying a camera that can send pictures and video across the world almost instantly. Combine that with the Internet which can turn what would have been a 5 minute spot on the evening news into a multi-day discussion.

Any, I won't cloud this discussion with weather history facts as some of you have insisted on doing and instead rely on my flawless memories which span not quite 50 years.

This has been the coldest winter I can remember since I've started commuting by bike year round. I base than on the fact that the gear that I reserve for the coldest of days has been getting regular use this year. However, it seems to me that most of the winters since 1987 have been much milder than the ones that I experienced prior to that and this year is more like what I recall real winters being like.

For those of you that care, I think the NOAA website now provides weather history information for free for any weather station you're interested in. You used to have to pay for it.
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Old 01-31-14, 10:16 AM   #42
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Since I grew up in Winnipeg, and am now in the Chicago area, not even close. What we've been experiencing here the past 4 weeks would be completely normal for Winnipeg in January. In fact the sporadic near freezing temps would be considered unusually warm.
But I'm glad to hear this one is regarded as remarkably cold and inclement. That means I can look forward to the future winters here being a lot more tolerable.
let's hope, but sometimes these bad winters work in long term, multi-year trends. as has been mentioned before, during my childhood in the late 70s/early 80s, chicago was walloped with a series of bad winters. since the mid 80s though, winters have been closer to normal, some worse than others sure, but nothing out of the ordinary. then came this utterly ridiculous winter. this winter reminds me of the crap winters of my childhood. let's hope it's not indicative of a longer term trend.

Last edited by Steely Dan; 01-31-14 at 10:20 AM.
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Old 01-31-14, 10:50 AM   #43
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Well im in southeast new york and will be 50 in march. Working outside for the past 32 years I can say we may
have had some really cold days but also some big temp swings. It was 40 on monday, 15 on tuesday and 35
today(friday). I can remember plenty of winters where it was cold for longer periods. Sure we've had a bunch
of single digit days but overall not a super cold winter.
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Old 01-31-14, 11:01 AM   #44
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This is the warmest winter in recent memory for Northern California and is on track to be one of the warmest and driest in record. Great for riding, not so great for everything else. Trust me, we'd rather have the rain and snow. And so will the rest of the country when you see what it costs for fruits and vegetables this summer.
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Old 01-31-14, 11:08 AM   #45
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let's hope, but sometimes these bad winters work in long term, multi-year trends. as has been mentioned before, during my childhood in the late 70s/early 80s, chicago was walloped with a series of bad winters. since the mid 80s though, winters have been closer to normal, some worse than others sure, but nothing out of the ordinary. then came this utterly ridiculous winter. this winter reminds me of the crap winters of my childhood. let's hope it's not indicative of a longer term trend.
I remember those winters of the late 70's early 80's in Chicago, and this winter is bringing back those bad memories. It seemed like they would never end and it would never quit snowing, yet now that's so far in the past it makes me want to tell people to get off my lawn.
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Old 01-31-14, 11:17 AM   #46
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According to my mom, the winter of '66-'67 was absolutely brutal in Chicago. I was born on May 3, 1967, when the low temp was 35. Apparently she said to my dad "I'm going back to California and taking the baby. You can come if you want." We've been here ever since.
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Old 01-31-14, 11:25 AM   #47
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The is the coldest winter in over a decade, but not unusual over a longer time scale. Winters have been relatively mild the past 10 years or more, so a more normal winter (like this) seems abnormally cold. I can remember winters in the 1960s, 70s and 80s that were much colder. Of course, my family lived up North (Minn and Ohio) until I was about 12, and it was certainly colder up there. However, I have lived in the Southeast (GA and NC) since the mid-1960s and we definitely had some colder winters back then. I can remember lakes freezing over with ice thick enough to walk across them -- in the Atlanta area, 60s and 70s -- and that is something that has hasn't been possible in a very long time and certainly not this winter. In the mid-1980s, the low temperature got down to near zero F when I was living in Savannah, Ga, and it hasn't even gotten that cold up in NC this winter (coldest morning so far this year is 7 F). We had a snow/sleet storm in NC during the 1980s that forced schools to close for about two weeks because it took that long for the ice to clear on the highways. The snow "storms" we've had this year so far totaled about 1" and 2-3" and roads were pretty clear by the second day.
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Old 01-31-14, 11:31 AM   #48
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I am going to say yes. I don't ever remember having -18 weather without windchill factored in.
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Old 01-31-14, 03:46 PM   #49
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This is the warmest winter in recent memory for Northern California and is on track to be one of the warmest and driest in record. Great for riding, not so great for everything else. Trust me, we'd rather have the rain and snow. And so will the rest of the country when you see what it costs for fruits and vegetables this summer.
Yes, yes we would. I hear fishing is shut down out your way... and looks like spots up here will be shut down soon as well.
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Old 02-01-14, 11:46 AM   #50
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those of us that are a little older than the OP know that this is nothing unusual historically. ... Recent winters have been above average on most days.
+1

And back before when I can remember, the old timers would talk about colder winters and hotter summers that they remember. Now that the statistics are online, I've found they were right about that, too! Dang old folks!
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