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“Polar Vortex” Breaks Some Records, but Not Many

“Polar Vortex” Breaks Some Records, but Not Many

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The cold snap of the last couple of days set some records, but not any of the big ones.
In several places, records were set for the lowest temperature and lowest high temperature for the date of Jan. 6 – but that’s it. No place established a record for lowest temperature ever, lowest daily high temperature of all time, or longest stretch below zero, says state climatologist Jim Angel in Champaign.
“While it is very, bitterly cold, and I don’t want to take away from that, as far as the records go it wasn’t really quite as cold as some of those other outbreaks we had back in the (19)70s and the early 80s,” he said.
- Around Christmas 1983, several locations, including Champaign, Peoria and Springfield, had more than 100 hours below zero.
- From Jan. 16-21, 1994, the Chicago area had 90 hours, briefly interrupted, of temperatures below zero
- The coldest reading ever in Illinois was -36 (F) in Congerville, in Woodford County, on Jan. 5, 1999

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