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Old 01-30-14, 11:06 AM   #1
WestMass
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Is this the coldest winter of your lifetime?

I'm 30 years old. I can't ever remember a winter this cold. I haven't really looked at the data - but I feel like single-digit days are relatively rare in Massachusetts. When it's in single digits it is a big deal and only happens a few times in a winter. 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? Or want to say I'm wrong with some data

I have 4 commutes via bicycle so far in January.
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Old 01-30-14, 11:13 AM   #2
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Top 3 for sure. So far 1982 or 1985 are colder in terms of YTD average temperatures. However, this winter is harsher if the snowfall totals and the below normal temperatures are combined.

Here are the records for Chicago;

Date Temperature
Jan. 20, 1985 27 below zero
Jan 10, 1982 26 below zero
Jan. 16, 1982 25 below zero
Dec. 24, 1983 25 below zero
Dec. 24, 1872 23 below zero
Jan. 17, 1982 23 below zero
Jan. 19, 1985 23 below zero
Jan. 21, 1984 22 below zero
Dec 22, 1872 21 below zero
Feb. 9, 1899 21 below zero
Dec. 23, 1983 21 below zero
Jan. 18, 1994 21 below zero
Jan. 9, 1875 20 below zero
Jan. 25, 1897 20 below zero
Jan. 20, 1984 20 below zero
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Old 01-30-14, 11:15 AM   #3
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Nope, we set our record lowest temp 5 years ago.
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Old 01-30-14, 11:21 AM   #4
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The data says no, but it's been a huge PITA so far. Clearly Old Man Winter is a grumpy Mofo this year. He's winning the war at this point.
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Old 01-30-14, 11:26 AM   #5
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Top 3 for sure. So far 1983 or 1985 are colder in terms of YTD average temperatures. However, this winter is harsher if the snowfall totals and the below normal temperatures are combined.
yeah, i kinda remember those doozies in the early 80s here in chicago, but i was just a child.

this winter has definitely been the harshest one that i can remember in my adulthood. this is the kind of winter that is gonna have hundreds of thousand of people throwing in the towel and packing up and moving from the frost belt to the sunbelt after it's over.
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Old 01-30-14, 11:29 AM   #6
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Not that any of you who are East of the Rockies want to hear this, but we've probably had the *warmest* Winter that I can remember. The upside is that we can ride every day; the downside is that we might not be able to fill our water bottles come Springtime.
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Old 01-30-14, 11:37 AM   #7
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No, but I dont live in Alberta.. Burlington, Brookline Or Scotland, I just visited ..


Might dip to 28F monday night then melt the next day .. then back to rain and 40F


snow was so Last Week ..

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Old 01-30-14, 11:54 AM   #8
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Coldest one I remember is winter of '78. I was just married and living in Eastern Mass. In early February we has a blizzard of about 4 feet and lost power for a week. Schools and businesses were shut down and they called in the National Guard to help out. One thing I remember is having my two Siberian Huskies pull a toboggan to the super market and the cashiers using calculators to add up the grocery bill. Fun times.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northea...izzard_of_1978
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Old 01-30-14, 12:03 PM   #9
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I live in Alberta and it's not in the top five coldest of my lifetime but there's definitely the most accumulation of snow. I'm 36 FWIW.
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Old 01-30-14, 12:09 PM   #10
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I grew up in Western Mass as well, and I'm only a little older than you. I recall it being this cold a lot when I was a kid. Maybe it just felt colder because I was younger, I dunno.
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Old 01-30-14, 12:29 PM   #11
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Drought here. And my home town Phoenix only gets hotter. But for those of you on the other side of the country I remember some really cold storms and snow from college (Purdue, late 90's) and doubt it's all that different.
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Old 01-30-14, 12:39 PM   #12
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But for those of you on the other side of the country I remember some really cold storms and snow from college (Purdue, late 90's) and doubt it's all that different.
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).
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Old 01-30-14, 12:42 PM   #13
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In Georgia, January 2010 was colder overall than this year, but we've had a few days that were lower than any in 2010 and more single-digit temperatures this year. But for consistently cold days, this winter is not the worst.
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Old 01-30-14, 12:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Here are the records for Chicago;

Date Temperature
Jan 10, 1982 26 below zero
Jan. 16, 1982 25 below zero
Jan. 17, 1982, 23 below zero
Thanks for posting that! I went to college in Chicago and I remember that winter. Definitely the coldest i can remember. But I wasn't out riding in it every day.
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Old 01-30-14, 12:52 PM   #15
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purdue is close enough to chicago for government work.
Actually not, we usually avoided lake effect
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Old 01-30-14, 01:03 PM   #16
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Actually not, we usually avoided lake effect
lake effect pertains to snow, i'm talking about COLD. and this winter has been noticeably colder than any winter here in the late 90s. trust me. these polar vortex things that keep swinging through have been no joke.

also, for the record, chicago deosn't get much lake effect snow because we're on the western shore of the lake. places like michigan city on the other side of the lake are where they get hammered by lake effect.
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Old 01-30-14, 01:14 PM   #17
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Coldest one I remember is winter of '78. I was just married and living in Eastern Mass. In early February we has a blizzard of about 4 feet and lost power for a week. Schools and businesses were shut down and they called in the National Guard to help out. One thing I remember is having my two Siberian Huskies pull a toboggan to the super market and the cashiers using calculators to add up the grocery bill. Fun times.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northea...izzard_of_1978
I graduated from Cornell in December of 1977 and promptly headed to Stowe, VT to work for the Von Trapp's at their lodge. That was the coldest January by far. I lived in Waitsfield and commuted to Stowe. It would get down to -15f and starting the Saab up was a hit or miss for a week. Thank the Swedish God for heated seats in my 1973 Saab. If you tried downhill skiing on Mt. Mansfield, you had to warm up every 2-3 runs to get feeling back in your toes.

Nowadays, the public has become wusses. In honor of the NJ Super Bowl, perhaps it should be "p*ssies." The TV weatherman reports "feel like temps" which includes wind chill index vs. pre 2013-2014, when actual temps + prevailing winds were reported. School closings happen at the drop of a mitten. Though it is cold out, the extra sun this winter helps. Also, I am happy to report, I took a 9 mile bike ride this month!

Interesting article on the Great Lakes freezing over:

http://www.mlive.com/weather/index.s...s_rapidly.html
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Old 01-30-14, 01:23 PM   #18
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Not even close. In fact it seems to be one of the warmer winters. We've not even had -55F yet and 30 years ago we might have had -60 or even -70F by this time. I am very appreciative of global warming and would like to encourage everyone to use their car a bit more often... (said with tongue firmly planted in cheek). But everyone around here (central AK) does notice that winters are much milder and it's been a decade since we've seen -60F, I think, and that's fine with me. Now the lower 48...that's a different story, eh? Just goes to show that climate is not the same as weather.
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Old 01-30-14, 04:33 PM   #19
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I'm in Western Illinois near the Mississippi River, low temps and total snowfall haven't been anything drastic, I think we've had one record low this month. We've sure had some up and down temperature patterns though and in all my 58 years I don't ever remember it being this windy ALL the damn time! It has been a strange one for sure.
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Old 01-30-14, 04:46 PM   #20
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Warmest here in so-cal. I kinda wish it would get colder..
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Old 01-30-14, 05:04 PM   #21
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Nope. Europe is very mild ... England is a joke for winter ... even Stockholm was quite easy.

Maine, where I grew up, was quite tough!
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Old 01-30-14, 06:06 PM   #22
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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.
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Old 01-30-14, 06:24 PM   #23
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Huh?

Coldest winter in my lifetime?

I ain't dead yet!
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Old 01-30-14, 06:24 PM   #24
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Nope. Been in Minnesota since 1973. This doesn't even make the top 10. Well, maybe it does but it's not THE coldest. Didn't even hit -40F yet.

J.
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Old 01-30-14, 07:20 PM   #25
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those of us that are a little older than the OP know that this is nothing unusual historically. Looking at the historical lows for this area, we did hit one historical low at -9, but we have been well above the historical lows and in line with the median temperatures for the whole winter. Recent winters have been above average on most days.

I lived in Wisconsin in a year where it didn't get above zero F for an entire month, so this is far from the worst winter I've lived through
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