Brutal Winter of 1978-1979

 

The winter of 1978-1979 will long be remembered for not only heavy snow, but bitterly cold temperatures.  A winter season record of 52.9 inches of snow fell over the area and the average temperature during the winter was a record low of 14.1F. 

January 1979 was a record breaking month in terms of both snowfall and arctic cold temperatures.  From January 12th to the 14th, a winter storm dumped an estimated 18.4 inches of snow.  This was a record amount for a single snowstorm.  A record 26.7 inches fell during the month of January, while the snow depth was a record 28 inches from January 14 through the 19th

Besides being a month for record snow, January was also the coldest month ever in the Quad Cities.  The average temperature for the month was only 6.3°F.  The second coldest reading ever occurred on January 2nd, when the temperature dropped to 27°F below zero.

 

Cedar Rapids Precipitation Graph
Figure 1:  Total January 1979 precipitation (inches) at Cedar Rapids Airport
 
Figure 1:  Total January 1979 precipitation (inches) at Dubuque Regional Airport
 
Figure 3:  Total January 1979 precipitation (inches) at Moline Quad City Internaltional Airport

 

 

Table 1: Janurary 1979 maximum and minumum temperatures (°F) and snowfall (inches) at the Moline Quad City International Airport

Day

Maximum Temperature (°F)

Minimum Temperature (°F)

Snow (inches)

1

14

- 10

1.0

2

- 5

- 27

0.0

3

3

- 14

0.0

4

3

- 12

Trace

5

2

- 19

0.2

6

10

- 19

0.0

7

10

- 7

0.0

8

4

- 17

0.0

9

13

- 6

0.0

10

5

- 18

0.0

11

8

- 17

1.3

12

18

7

2.3

13

20

11

14.8

14

11

- 21

Trace

 


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