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beavis1729

Coldest wind chill by state

38 posts in this topic

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.

[u]Illinois[/u]
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. [img]http://static.amwx.us//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]

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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.

[url="http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/ask/article_4b3d5698-3ba7-11e0-8caa-001cc4c002e0.html"]http://host.madison....1cc4c002e0.html[/url]

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[quote name='Geos' timestamp='1353357041' post='1872014']
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.

[url="http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/ask/article_4b3d5698-3ba7-11e0-8caa-001cc4c002e0.html"]http://host.madison....1cc4c002e0.html[/url]
[/quote]

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

[url="http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KLSE/1996/2/2/DailyHistory.html?req_city=NA&req_state=NA&req_statename=NA"]http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KLSE/1996/2/2/DailyHistory.html?req_city=NA&req_state=NA&req_statename=NA[/url]

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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.

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-71 in northern MN. [color=#000000][font=Arial, sans-serif, Helvetica][size=3]On January 9th and 10th, 1982 temperatures of -30 and winds of around 40mph were reported in Northern Minnesota.[/size][/font][/color]

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[quote name='Hoosier' timestamp='1353355863' post='1871985']
-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.
[/quote]

Wow - that's very impressive for central Indiana.

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[quote name='mnweather' timestamp='1353358292' post='1872051']
-71 in northern MN. [color=#000000][font=Arial, sans-serif, Helvetica][size=3]On January 9th and 10th, 1982 temperatures of -30 and winds of around 40mph were reported in Northern Minnesota.[/size][/font][/color]
[/quote]

Sounds like a lovely, brisk day. [img]http://static.amwx.us//public/style_emoticons/default/santa.gif[/img]

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

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[quote name='Hoosier' timestamp='1353358200' post='1872046']
[b]Wish we had wind chill info for 1/12/1918.[/b] 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.
[/quote]

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.

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[quote name='Hoosier' timestamp='1353358200' post='1872046']
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.
[/quote]

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

Graphic from GRB:

[img]http://www.crh.noaa.gov/grb/images/Wind_Chill_compare.jpg[/img]

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(V[sup][size=2]0.16[/size][/sup]) + 0.4275T(V[sup][size=2]0.16[/size][/sup])
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.

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[quote name='beavis1729' timestamp='1353358317' post='1872052']


Wow - that's very impressive for central Indiana.
[/quote]


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

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[quote name='Geos' timestamp='1353359247' post='1872087']


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

[/quote]


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

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Alaska
Deadhorse, 1/28/1989: wind chill -102F (temp -54F with a 36 mph wind)...on the new scale! That is insane.

[url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deadhorse"]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deadhorse[/url]

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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.

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

[url]http://www.crh.noaa.gov/crh/ssd/pdf/tsp_15.pdf[/url]

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

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[quote name='Hoosier' timestamp='1353436340' post='1873158']
Related to this...here is a study about the frequency of various wind chill readings in the northern US.

[url="http://www.crh.noaa.gov/crh/ssd/pdf/tsp_15.pdf"]http://www.crh.noaa..../pdf/tsp_15.pdf[/url]

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

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.

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[quote name='Geos' timestamp='1353434420' post='1873116']
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.
[/quote]

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.

[url="http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KMCW/1996/2/2/DailyHistory.html?req_city=NA&req_state=NA&req_statename=NA"]http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KMCW/1996/2/2/DailyHistory.html?req_city=NA&req_state=NA&req_statename=NA[/url]

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

[url="http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KCPR/1990/12/21/DailyHistory.html"]http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KCPR/1990/12/21/DailyHistory.html[/url]

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

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

[url="http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KPNS/1985/1/21/DailyHistory.html?req_city=NA&req_state=NA&req_statename=NA"]http://www.wunderground.com/history/airport/KPNS/1985/1/21/DailyHistory.html?req_city=NA&req_state=NA&req_statename=NA[/url]

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[quote name='Hoosier' timestamp='1353358200' post='1872046']
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.
[/quote]


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.

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[quote name='Chinook' timestamp='1353528994' post='1874600']


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.
[/quote]

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

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Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

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

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[quote name='Chinook' timestamp='1353528994' post='1874600']


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.
[/quote]


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.

[attachment=78732:blizzjan1918.png]

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