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It’s Cold, But Do You Remember February 1996?

(Photo by NASA/Getty Images)

Temperatures are well below zero tonight, and expected to be somewhere near -15F by tomorrow morning.   It’s cold, and it seems a little early in winter for these bone chilling temps.   Last time it was this cold in December was 1976.  But do you remember February 2nd 1996?   That’s the coldest I remember it ever being in my life.  That’s the day Tower set the Minnesota record for -60F.

-60 below,ACTUAL AIR TEMPERATURE,not windchill.   People often don’t believe that, but the record was set in Tower, Minnesota on February 2nd, 1996.   Looking at other records across different states in the country, there is only a few that are just a couple degrees colder.

I remember that cold snap well.   I was in middle school at the time, and our family lived in nearby Biwabik, MN.  Our thermometer quit working, so we had to go by what the news had said.  Our water main froze and broke during those temperatures, so we had to either shower at the YMCA the next morning before school, or try to bear a freezing cold shower.

I don’t remember the furnace turning off for more than a couple of minutes.  If you didn’t have insulated pipes in crawl spaces, you’d definitely know it.   Sometimes even pipes in insulated areas would get cold enough to freeze.  Governor Arnie Carlson shut down schools across the state.

The few times I went out in the cold was for a few short moments, and your lungs would hurt from the cold air.   Your nose would freeze up almost immediately, and your eyes would begin to freeze stuck in the corners.  Walking on the frozen ground would make that strange squeaky crunchy noise that was almost like nails on a chalkboard.

No doubt about it, it’s cold now.   But this isn’t 1996.

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