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What was your coldest day?


As the Arctic Blast continues to hold the area in it's grip, I begin to wonder.

I am a native of Florida, and my home town has a slight chance of snow/sleet this weekend. Before I moved to Kansas, the coldest temperature I had ever experienced was 14 degrees. I know that seems modest by Kansas standards.

So I pose this question to you. What is the coldest temperature you have ever experienced? Was it in Northeast Kansas, or outside of the area?


mandygarness 8 years, 3 months ago

I'm from Wisconsin originally, and I've seen 30 plus below before you factor in the windchill. Its cold in Kansas right now, but it could be worse :)

Bruce Rist 8 years, 3 months ago


December 1989 during finals


Anybody else remember that?

Catzilla 8 years, 3 months ago

The day I locked myself out of my car while scraping the ice off the windshield.

David Roberts 8 years, 3 months ago

December 22, 1989 -22 degrees -70 degrees wind chill

I remember it because I was loading trailers at UPS all night in it. One of the longest, painful nights of my life.

Phil Minkin 8 years, 3 months ago

Traveling cross country in the '70s in a friends VW van which broke down in Granby, Colo. We parked in a gas station lot and slept in the back. -40 wind chill. I had a couple of blankets and lots of newspaper. I pulled the blanket over my face and in the morning it was frozen solid.

cowboy 8 years, 3 months ago

Des Moine , 1962 , 32 below , as a kid , went outside looking like the little kid in christmas story ,

Multi , I lived in the mountains outside denver in those same years , we had 4 feet during that 84 blizzard , remember getting on I 70 , which was closed , and heading to Denver , the only vehicle on the road. Had a big 4WD truck at the time.

Joyful_noise 8 years, 3 months ago

December 1989. I was going to school in Arkansas and rode back to Lawrence for the Christmas break with a guy whose heater was broken. I knew it was cold in the car, but I didn't realize just how cold until the afternoon when I looked down in the floorboard and noticed some ice I spilled from a drink in the morning was still unmelted in the afternoon. Once we finally arrived I think it took me hours to warm up.

Michael Throop 8 years, 3 months ago

In the late 1970s we were living in Minneapolis, and I recall the St.Paul Winter Carnival Parade being called off because, at -20, it was too cold to march. I also recall going to work one early morning in January of 1980 when it was -32.The coldest I can recall from the Kansas City area was in 1983, when it got to -20.

Frederic Gutknecht IV 8 years, 3 months ago

What they said. 12/22/89... -22 as I recall... My gal and I hit the road for Christmas in Chicago. There was almost no heat in the car. Containers of water froze and burst. Brrrrrrst...

notanoobhere 8 years, 3 months ago

4 years ago in summit county CO, clear sky's equal cold weather it was -40 and below for 5 days straight. Its amazing how clear the sky is when its that cold, the stars at night would cast shadows. I remember so many dumb Texans getting frost bite on their nose and face, "dang y'all watch ya mean I gots frost bites on ma nose, I dont feels nuttin." It was freaking cold.

Bandwife75 8 years, 3 months ago

February 3,1996 the day I brought my 13 year old home from the hospital the windchill was -22 degrees that day at 1pm. It was cold 7 blankets didnt keep her from getting colicky.

jackpot 8 years, 3 months ago

-23 without wind chill. -17 with wind chill -40 to-50.

David Mora Marín 8 years, 3 months ago

I was at KU for finals in '89 and I remember walking from the Towers to the art museum and when I got there ice had formed on my glasses. I heard it was -27 in the night, but it wasn't a lot better in the day. I saw people during finals wearing blankets and bathrobes and comforters and I was jealous that I hadn't thought of it.

Paul Geisler 8 years, 3 months ago

My wife and I lived in Minneapolis, MN for 9 years and during our first winter there in 1995 it was -30F with a windchill of -70F!!! And if it was that cold in the Twin Cities you can imagine how crazy cold it was up north at International Falls, aka the Icebox of the US! For example, the Twin Cities TV stations like to send their weather guys outside in that kind of freezing weather to demonstrate how you can hammer in a nail with a frozen BANANA! No kidding! And yet some of them crazy mofos will still drive their trucks out onto a frozen lake to ice-fish in an ice-fishing house! We eventually adjusted to the severe cold, but it was the length of the winters that drove us most crazy! And now we're getting a small taste of those Minnesota winters right here in Lawrence, KS!

Ralph Reed 8 years, 3 months ago

Got stuck in the Sierra Nevadas during the winter of 46-47. Developed a taste for thighs then.

Tom McCune 8 years, 3 months ago

Christmas Day, 1971.

If you're a KC Chief's fan, you know what I'm talking about.

Technically, it wasn't all that cold. (Around zero.) But my high school band played the half-time show for that game, and sitting through nearly 6 quarters of football, down on the field of old Municipal Stadium, in a band uniform (no coats allowed) in zero degrees to watch them ultimately lose, was pretty cold, in more ways than one. However, that is still arguably the greatest (as well as the longest) game in pro football history.

camper 8 years, 3 months ago

1985 in Summit County Colorado. Took the T-bar all the way to the top of some bowl (as they called it). Looked down on the village below and said to myself "My God, what have I gotten myself into". Anyways, I think the wind chill was well below zero. There is something to be said about being tested, and I don't know if I ever felt as much alive because I was scared and just trying to figure out how to get down the mountain. I was living truly in the moment, which is a rare occasion in these days of comfortable existence.

darkagent 8 years, 3 months ago

What was the coldest day in Lawrence?

o_no_you_didnt 8 years, 3 months ago

What I want to know is WHY the other day the forecast was to get down to (-15) and it never got below ( 0 ) and the night before that it was suppose to get down to ( -7 ) and it never got below ( 0 ).

Riddle me that batman!!

sailor 8 years, 3 months ago

Definitely the morning of December 22nd, Friday, 1989. My thermometer said -29 F in Lenexa. Who knows what the wind chill was, maybe -50F. Of course, it is always warmer downrown.

Now in GA, 10F feels like -10F. I got warm blooded since moving south. How about them iguanas falling of trees in Florida.

camper 8 years, 3 months ago

Sailor, not to worry about the Iguanas. Was in Houston over the holidays and we cleared a lizard off the patio furniture in the cold early moring hours. We thought the little guy was smashed and deceased somehow, but as the sun shone on him, he awoke, was alive, and in my opinion kind of mad that we moved him.

Bassetlover 8 years, 3 months ago

December 22, 1989.....I was attending a funeral in KCMO. It was 22 below zero that Friday afternoon. The ten days prior were also double digits below zero. I had never experienced anything like that.

jhwk_acct 8 years, 3 months ago

After I graduated high school, in 2005, I spend 2 years between McMurdo station Antarctica and New Zealand. The temp got up to the 30's every once in a while but the coldest I ever remember was -70 with a wind chill of more than -100.

It seems like cheating because...duh its supposed to be cold down there, however, this Kansas weather is very mild!!!

a_flock_of_jayhawks 8 years, 3 months ago

winter of 1981. -20 with wind chills around -70. engine block froze. some people's tires cracked and I heard of a couple car axles cracking.

gphawk89 8 years, 3 months ago

"KU December 1989 during finals Ouch! Anybody else remember that?"

I, too, was there taking finals. But I don't remember that particular cold for some reason. Might have already headed home for the break.

I remember a cold snap during a ski trip to Breckenridge around 1980 where it got to about -30 one night. The little baseboard heaters in the condominium couldn't keep uo and it was about 40 inside. I slept in my ski coat and hat and snow boots and was still cold.

kaderast 8 years, 3 months ago

Technically speaking, -36 here in Big Sky, MT in January 2007. However, it also seemed ridiculously cold in late July of 2009 when it was in the teens for a few straight mornings and there was fresh snow on the peaks...

Ralph Reed 8 years, 3 months ago

@Multi, re your 2006: Sorry about your husband's classmate. A candle could have saved his life. It's not farmer's talk. A small candle will produce a lot of warmth. I can remember cold, rainy nights at Ft. Lewis, with me wrapped up with a poncho, a small candle in a can between my feet. in 15 minutes I was warm and very dry.

They sell small, emergency candles in a can slightly larger than a cat food cat. Something like that would have helped.

Tony Kisner 8 years, 3 months ago

Make way you loosers,

July 4, 1976. I asked Mary to go steady - she said she liked me as a friend but... Thank god for my dad not having a job and no cash to buy ammo for our .22 or I would not be here to tell the tale.

Never a colder day.

budwhysir 8 years, 3 months ago

The day when the temp was colder than ever

Drew_Carey 8 years, 3 months ago

1000 pts to Easy_Does_It . 500 more punitive. She could have delayed until the 5th yet she deliberately ruined his holiday.

more_cowbell 8 years, 3 months ago

@ o_no_you_didnt,

The JW page is showing the same thing now, 0 F, although my other info (Yahoo! homepage) shows -10 F at this time. Perhaps the JW website doesn't do negative temps for their banner info? If so, that programming code might need updating... ;-)

o_no_you_didnt 8 years, 3 months ago

more_cowbell (Anonymous) says…

@ o_no_you_didnt,

The JW page is showing the same thing now, 0 F, although my other info (Yahoo! homepage) shows -10 F at this time. Perhaps the JW website doesn't do negative temps for their banner info? If so, that programming code might need updating… ;-) +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The 2 days i was talking about I was referring to my indoor outdoor temperature thingy in my living room, never got below 0 degrees, BUT as I speak my temperature thingy is showing ( -6 ) degrees, SO they finally got the forecast right temperature wise.

KansasPerson 8 years, 3 months ago

I also remember December 1989! There were power lines snapping in the cold, and cars dying all over Lawrence. Ours died by the Post Office and we had to go back for it later.

The other thing I remember was that when that cold snap broke, it broke big-time. Was it on Christmas Day? I can't remember, but the temperature soared up rather quickly, everything melted, people were out jogging in shorts, and everyone went and retrieved their no-longer-dead cars. It was like the world had started up again. I never enjoyed a temperature upswing so much in all my life.

Rex Russell 8 years, 3 months ago

6 am flight out of the Wichita airport a couple of days before Christmas in '89. Was going to Phoenix for the holidays. Boarded the plane and sat in the 3rd or 4th row. Froze my #@^ off while everyone else got on. I remember a bank clock on the way to the airport that said -22. Got off the plane in Phoenix and it was 76. My cousin who picked me up at the airport was wearing a tanktop, shorts, and flip-flops. I, on the other hand, was wearing full length long-johns, jeans, boots, socks, thermal socks, t-shirt, sweater, leather coat, hat, and gloves. Had to find an airport bathroom to strip in so I wouldn't self-combust. What I remember most was the all over body shivers that still came over me for a whole day after that. Cold to the core.

Jonathan Kealing 8 years, 3 months ago

Just an FYI, for temperature data, we report temperatures in downtown Lawrence. Most other sources, like Yahoo, Weather.com, etc., use temperatures from the Lawrence airport. Because it's so far out into the country, it's typically much colder than what we're feeling in downtown Lawrence.

Jonathan Kealing Online editor

schula 8 years, 3 months ago

For me, it would have been last winter when I locked my keys in my car (running) and didn't have any way to get into my apartment. Luckily, some neighbors helped me by calling a tow truck to get me into my car. My neighbors wouldn't let me into their apartment so I thought I was going to freeze while waiting for the tow truck.

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