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Coldest wind chill by state


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#1
beavis1729

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It's difficult to find exact records on this topic...but I thought it would be fun to document the coldest wind chill ever recorded by state. Of course, wind chills are computed based on sustained winds, not wind gusts.

I am basing this off the new wind chill forumla that was created in 2001.

I'll start with Illinois.

Illinois
Chicago, -57 on 1/10/1982 (temp -26, winds 21 mph)

Chicago may have seen a colder wind chill than this since 1870, but I haven't found a colder one yet! And, there may be other locations in IL that have had a colder wind chill than Chicago. But in my limited search, I haven't yet found one.

Let the fun begin. Posted Image

#2
Hoosier

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-53F at IND on 1/20/1985 (temp -22, sustained wind 23 mph) but I've only checked a couple of the notorious cold dates so far.

#3
beavis1729

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North Dakota

Minot AFB, 2/1/1996: -66F (-35F with 17 mph winds)

#4
Geos

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That one really frigid February several years back there was wind chills around -35°F at Waukegan.

For Madison, WI at least: -54°F was the lowest wind chill on January 20, 1985 between 4-5am.

http://host.madison....1cc4c002e0.html

#5
beavis1729

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That one really frigid February several years back there was wind chills around -35°F at Waukegan.

For Madison, WI at least: -54°F was the lowest wind chill on January 20, 1985 between 4-5am.

http://host.madison....1cc4c002e0.html


Nice...it looks like La Crosse WI also had a -54F wind chill on 2/2/1996 (-34F with a 7 mph wind):

http://www.wundergro...eq_statename=NA

#6
Hoosier

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Wish we had wind chill info for 1/12/1918. Basically it was a weaker version of the 1978 Cleveland bomb but it brought in bitter cold air behind it. Some of the numbers must've been pretty low.

#7
mnweather

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-71 in northern MN. On January 9th and 10th, 1982 temperatures of -30 and winds of around 40mph were reported in Northern Minnesota.

#8
beavis1729

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-53F at IND on 1/20/1985 (temp -22, sustained wind 23 mph) but I've only checked a couple of the notorious cold dates so far.


Wow - that's very impressive for central Indiana.

#9
beavis1729

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-71 in northern MN. On January 9th and 10th, 1982 temperatures of -30 and winds of around 40mph were reported in Northern Minnesota.


Sounds like a lovely, brisk day. Posted Image

That may take the cake for the lower 48...unless somewhere in MT/ND came close...

#10
beavis1729

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Wish we had wind chill info for 1/12/1918. Basically it was a weaker version of the 1978 Cleveland bomb but it brought in bitter cold air behind it. Some of the numbers must've been pretty low.


Me too...and of course you piqued my curiosity with this.

Looks like Bloomington, IL set an all-time record low on that date (-23F). Tulsa, OK had a high temp of 2F on 1/11/1918...about 45 degrees below the 1981-2010 normal.

#11
Geos

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Wish we had wind chill info for 1/12/1918. Basically it was a weaker version of the 1978 Cleveland bomb but it brought in bitter cold air behind it. Some of the numbers must've been pretty low.


So there was no wind data taken back then? What kind of temperatures were there?

Graphic from GRB:

Posted Image

National Weather Service Forecast Offices have adjusted the threshold values of Wind Chill Temperatures that trigger Wind Chill Advisories and Wind Chill Warnings, to reflect the new formula.

Here's the formula:

Wind Chill (F) = 35.74 + 0.6215T - 35.75(V0.16) + 0.4275T(V0.16)
Where V = the wind speed value in mph and
T = the temperature in �F

Note: Frostbite occurs in 30 minutes or less at wind chill values of -18 or lower.

Beavis - BTW, good thread idea.

#12
Hoosier

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Wow - that's very impressive for central Indiana.



Muncie might've been lower that day...winds were stronger but there's no temperature data so I can't say for sure.

#13
Hoosier

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So there was no wind data taken back then? What kind of temperatures were there?



I don't know where to get hourly data from back then.

#14
beavis1729

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Alaska
Deadhorse, 1/28/1989: wind chill -105F (temp -54F with a 36 mph wind)...on the new scale! That is insane.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deadhorse

#15
Geos

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Lowest Iowa wind chill readings I could find. Spencer and Estherville hit -45°F (new scale) on the morning of February 10, 2008. Probably some lower ones at some time during record keeping.

#16
Hoosier

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Related to this...here is a study about the frequency of various wind chill readings in the northern US.

http://www.crh.noaa..../pdf/tsp_15.pdf

Too bad they didn't do a map for wind chills of -50 or -60.

#17
beavis1729

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Related to this...here is a study about the frequency of various wind chill readings in the northern US.

http://www.crh.noaa..../pdf/tsp_15.pdf

Too bad they didn't do a map for wind chills of -50 or -60.


Nice find. The "-40F % column" in the table at the end of the paper highlights some good towns to focus on for wind chill records.

#18
beavis1729

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Lowest Iowa wind chill readings I could find. Spencer and Estherville hit -45°F (new scale) on the morning of February 10, 2008. Probably some lower ones at some time during record keeping.


Thanks...looks like Mason City IA had a wind chill of -54 at 4:00 AM on 2/2/1996....temp -29, wind 12 mph.

http://www.wundergro...eq_statename=NA

#19
beavis1729

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Wyoming
Casper, 12/21/1990: wind chill of -55 (temp -30, wind 12 mph)

http://www.wundergro...ilyHistory.html

Not saying this is the coldest wind chill on record in WY...but it's what I've found so far.

#20
beavis1729

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Florida
Pensacola, 1/21/1985: wind chill -10 (temp 5, wind 10 mph)

http://www.wundergro...eq_statename=NA

#21
Chinook

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Wish we had wind chill info for 1/12/1918. Basically it was a weaker version of the 1978 Cleveland bomb but it brought in bitter cold air behind it. Some of the numbers must've been pretty low.



Bowling Green Ohio- book by county weather historian.

"Back in the extremely cold winter of 1918, a severe blizzard commenced.... snow drifts ten feet high and dropped the temperature to 18 degrees below zero." Bowling green went from +24 to -18 that day. I can't exactly say what the wind chill was at any hour. It might have been 0F with a wind of 30mph, resulting in a wind chill of -25.9F. That's probably conservative.

#22
beavis1729

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Bowling Green Ohio- book by county weather historian.

"Back in the extremely cold winter of 1918, a severe blizzard commenced.... snow drifts ten feet high and dropped the temperature to 18 degrees below zero." Bowling green went from +24 to -18 that day. I can't exactly say what the wind chill was at any hour. It might have been 0F with a wind of 30mph, resulting in a wind chill of -25.9F. That's probably conservative.


Good stuff...I never realized 1917-18 was such a cold winter in the Midwest/OV.

#23
beavis1729

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Maine
Frenchville, 1/16/2009: wind chill -47 (temp -30, wind 6 mph)

http://www.wundergro...ilyHistory.html

#24
Geos

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Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

2/9/1899: -42° (all time record low) estimated wind chill -65°. (new scale)

#25
Hoosier

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Bowling Green Ohio- book by county weather historian.

"Back in the extremely cold winter of 1918, a severe blizzard commenced.... snow drifts ten feet high and dropped the temperature to 18 degrees below zero." Bowling green went from +24 to -18 that day. I can't exactly say what the wind chill was at any hour. It might have been 0F with a wind of 30mph, resulting in a wind chill of -25.9F. That's probably conservative.



There was easily a 40-50 mb pressure gradient with that storm, so it must've been pretty windy. I was working on a blizzard project a while back but gave it up due to the workload...anyway one of the storms I was working on was 1/12/1918. Here is the approximate track and strength at various points. Numbers could be a bit off since I converted from inches to mb but should be pretty close.

Attached File  blizzjan1918.png   20.7KB   0 downloads

#26
snowmanwx

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1200 UTC 12 January 1918: -43 at Evansville (175 feet above ground at Citizens' Bank Building): 20 mph wind and -16°F
1200 UTC 12 January 1918: -49 at Indianapolis (232 feet above ground at Consolidated Building): 24 mph wind and -19°F
1200 UTC 12 January 1918: -53 at Fort Wayne (124 feet above ground at Shoaf Tri-State and Gettle Building): 30 mph wind and -20°F

#27
beavis1729

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Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

2/9/1899: -42° (all time record low) estimated wind chill -65°. (new scale)


Yikes...that is cold. That's a good idea to look at the Feb. 1899 cold wave.

#28
Hoosier

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1200 UTC 12 January 1918: -43 at Evansville (175 feet above ground at Citizens' Bank Building): 20 mph wind and -16°F
1200 UTC 12 January 1918: -49 at Indianapolis (232 feet above ground at Consolidated Building): 24 mph wind and -19°F
1200 UTC 12 January 1918: -53 at Fort Wayne (124 feet above ground at Shoaf Tri-State and Gettle Building): 30 mph wind and -20°F


Thanks for the info. Where did you find it?

#29
Hoosier

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Yikes...that is cold. That's a good idea to look at the Feb. 1899 cold wave.



February 1936 might also be worth checking. It was ridiculously cold especially in the northern Plains/upper Midwest.

#30
Hoosier

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beavis, I found a wind chill of -58F for ORD on 12/24/1983. Temp was -25F with wind of 25 mph

#31
beavis1729

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beavis, I found a wind chill of -58F for ORD on 12/24/1983. Temp was -25F with wind of 25 mph


Thanks Hoosier...good catch.

#32
beavis1729

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February 1936 might also be worth checking. It was ridiculously cold especially in the northern Plains/upper Midwest.


Yep...I'll take a look. So far, I've focused on more recent decades, as the hourly temperature and wind speed data is more readily available on Weather Underground.

#33
Geos

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Morning of 01/30/96 north central Montana had lows as extreme -40°, even some unofficial locations approaching -50° near the Canadian border. Estimated wind chills on the new scale were pushing close to -75 - -80° with 15-20mph winds.

#34
beavis1729

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Morning of 01/30/96 north central Montana had lows as extreme -40°, even some unofficial locations approaching -50° near the Canadian border. Estimated wind chills on the new scale were pushing close to -75 - -80° with 15-20mph winds.


I couldn't find any official wind chill readings lower than -50 in late January 1996...but I'll keep looking. In the meantime, there is always good old January 1982:

Montana
Glasgow, 1/6/1982: wind chill -55 (temp -35, wind 7 mph)

http://www.wundergro...eq_statename=NA

#35
Geos

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I couldn't find any official wind chill readings lower than -50 in late January 1996...but I'll keep looking. In the meantime, there is always good old January 1982:

Montana
Glasgow, 1/6/1982: wind chill -55 (temp -35, wind 7 mph)

http://www.wundergro...eq_statename=NA


It was mentioned in a news article. I'll see if I can find it again. Hopefully I converted to the new scale correctly. - But there was mention of -90 wind chills in areas of the state that morning. Of course that would be on the old scale.



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