Brr! Cold temperatures on January 15!
Cold morning lows were felt across the region on Thursday morning, January 15. Temperatures fell into the teens below zero north of a line from Neligh, NE, to Shenandoah, IA, and were in the single digits below zero south of that line. Wind chill readings were -20 to -30 degrees across the area for much of the morning, with a few spots even dipping below -30 degree wind chills for a brief time. While no daily records were set in the forecast area, temperatures did fall to the coldest readings in years at some places.
-16 degrees at 7:58am (2nd coldest daily minimum on record)
Daily record: -25 degrees on 1/15/1888
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Last time it was this cold: February 3, 1996 (-19 degrees). The 5 days from January 31-February 4, 1996, all had minimum temperatures of -15 degrees or colder.
-9 degrees at 6:57am (tied for 5th coldest daily minimum on record)
Daily record: -27 degrees on 1/15/1888
Last time it was this cold: December 22, 2008 (-12 degrees). Not so long ago!
-14 degrees at 8:08am (tied for 4th coldest daily minimum on record)
Daily record: -21 degrees on 1/15/1888
Last time it was this cold: December 22, 2008 (-18 degrees). Not so long ago!
Those cold readings in 1888 came on the heels of a blizzard on January 5-6, 1888, better known as the Children's Blizzard or the Schoolhouse Blizzard. That blizzard, and its aftermath, were described in the book "The Children's Blizzard" by David Laskin. The cold stretch in 1996 was part of a cold outbreak across the Plains and Midwest from the end of January into the beginning of February, which included all-time state record lows in Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
The all-time record low in Omaha is -32 degrees on January 5, 1884. This morning's reading in Omaha didn't even crack the top 50 of all-time coldest temperatures.