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Weather History: December 30: Record temps, storms, snow, ice, wind & tropics

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Meteorological events that happened on December 30th:


The temperature at Charlotte, NC plunged to an all-time record low of -5°, a record that was equaled on 1/21/1985. Washington D.C. only managed an afternoon high of 9°. That was only one of five days in history that the high temperature did not make it to 10°.

Helena, MT and Philadelphia, PA set their all-time record low with -40° and -5° respectively.

Locations that reported daily record lows included: Havre, MT: -36°, Cheyenne, WY: -18°, Columbus, OH: -12°, Erie, PA: -11°, Cleveland, OH: -10°, Lansing, MI: -10°, Detroit, MI: -10°, Buffalo, NY: -9°, Pittsburgh, PA: -9°, Indianapolis, IN: -8°, Dodge City, KS: -8°, Rochester, NY: -8°, Toledo, OH: -8°, Milwaukee, WI: -7°, Washington, D.C.: -7°, New York (Central Park), NY: -6°, St. Louis, MO: -5°, Cincinnati, OH: -5°, Knoxville, TN: -5°, Louisville, KY: -3°, Baltimore, MD -3°, Atlanta, GA: 1°, Nashville, TN: 4°, Norfolk, VA: 6°, Augusta, GA: 7°, Montgomery, AL: 8°, El Paso, TX: 9°, Wilmington, NC: 10°, Little Rock, AR: 11°, Mobile, AL: 14°, Savannah, GA: 15°, Pensacola, FL: 17°, Brownsville, TX: 18°, Jacksonville, FL: 19° and Galveston, TX: 20°.


Beginning on the 29th and continuing through this date, a very strong cold front blasted through Oklahoma and north Texas. The temperature at Oklahoma City fell from 68° at 5:50pm on the 29th, to 17° at 10am on this date. The temperature dropped 51° in only 16 hours. The temperature continued to drop to 8 degrees at 9am on the 31st.

Locations that reported record low temperatures for the date included: International Falls, MN: -39°, Grand Forks, ND: -31°, St. Cloud, MN: -23°, Lander, WY: -23°, Minneapolis, MN: -19° and Austin, TX: 22°.


Flagstaff, AZ recorded 31 inches of snow for its greatest one day snowfall total on record.


A major cold wave known as the "Great World War I Cold Wave" affected the East. The mercury plunged to -13° at New York (Central Park), NY and -14° at Boston, MA; followed by their coldest high temperature on record of 2°. The temperature would drop below zero for five nights in a row at Boston. In Vermont, Berlin dropped to -44° and St. Johnsbury fell to -43°. Tennessee recorded its coldest temperature ever with a reading of -32° at Mountain City. West Virginia also set their all-time coldest with a reading of -37° at Lewisburg. Locations reporting all-time record lows included: Elkins, WV: -28°, Charleston, WV: -17° (broke previous daily record by 22 degrees) and Roanoke, VA: -12°.

Locations reporting all-time December record lows included: Beckley, WV: -20°, Hartford, CT: -18°, Huntington, WV: -14°-Tied (broke previous daily record by 14 degrees), Avoca, PA: -13°, Providence, RI: -12°, Wilmington, DE: -7°-Tied, Lynchburg, VA: -4°-Tied, Richmond, VA: -2°, Greenville-Spartanburg, SC: 3° and Norfolk, VA: 5°.

Locations that reported daily record lows included: Aberdeen, SD: -34°, Sioux Falls, SD: -29°, Burlington, VT: -25°, Portland, ME: -21°, Syracuse, NY: -20°, Waterloo, IA: -18°, Aberdeen, SD: -17°, Milton, MA: -17°, Worcester, MA: -14°, Dayton, OH: -13°, Mansfield, OH: -12°, Williamsport, PA: -12°, Alpena, MI: -11°, Cincinnati, OH: -8°, Rochester, NY: -8°-Tied, Akron, OH: -6°, Asheville, NC: -4°, Harrisburg, PA: -3°, Evansville, IN: -1°, Raleigh, NC: 0°, Nashville, TN: 2°, Springfield, MO: 3°, Huntsville, AL: 5°, Tulsa, OK: 5°, Wilmington, NC: 6°, Birmingham, AL: 8°, Little Rock, AR: 8°, Columbia, SC: 8°, Athens, GA: 9°, Jackson, MS: 10°, Meridian, MS: 11°, Dallas, TX: 13°, Baton Rouge, LA: 14°, Dallas (DFW), TX: 14°, Savannah, GA: 15°-Tied, Austin, TX: 16°, Waco, TX: 17°, San Antonio, TX: 19°, Victoria, TX: 20°, Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX: 21°, Del Rio, TX: 22°, Houston, TX: 22° and Corpus Christi, TX: 24°.


The temperature dropped to -50° at Bloomfield, VT establishing the coldest reading in modern history for New England. Pittsburgh, NH dropped to -44°.

Locations reporting all-time December record lows included: Burlington, VT: -29°-Tied, Boston, MA: -15° and Newark, NJ: -8°.

Locations reporting daily record lows included: Concord, NH: -21°, Albany, NY: -21°, Milton, MA: -18°, Worcester, MA: -15° and Allentown, PA: -2°.

A major storm hit Southern California starting on this day and ending on 1/1/1934. A total of 7.36 inches fell in 24 hours at Los Angeles, a 24 hour record for the city with 8.26 inches total. Storm totals in the southern slopes of mountains topped 12 inches with the heaviest at Azusa with 16.29 inches. 45 people died across Southern California in floods. Walls of water and debris up to 10 feet high were noted in some canyon areas.


The 47 inches of snow on the ground at Anchorage, AK established a new snow cover record for the location.


On this date through the 31st, one of the worst blizzards this century occurred in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Parts of Maine received most of the snow with dangerous wind chills the primary effect for New Hampshire and Vermont. Snowfall totals in Maine included 46 inches at Ripogenus Dam and 40 inches fell in just 24 hours at Orono. Drifts reached 20 feet deep at Bangor.


Washington State recorded its coldest temperature ever when the towns of Mazuma and Winsthrop both dropped to -48°.

Locations reporting all-time December record lows included: Kalispell, MT: -35° (broke previous daily record by 18 degrees), Spokane, WA: -25° and Seattle, WA: 6°.

Locations reporting daily record lows included: Williston, ND: -35°, Great Falls, MT: -30°, Casper, WY: -28°, Sheridan, WY: -28°, Missoula, MT: -27°, Billings, MT: -24°, Lewiston, ID: -22°, Valentine, NE: -22°, Scottsbluff, NE: -21°, Rapid City, SD: -21°, North Platte, NE: -18°, Norfolk, NE: -17°, Dubuque, IA: -16°, Sioux City, IA: -16°, Des Moines, IA: -15°, Grand Island, NE: -14°, Lincoln, NE: -13°, Omaha, NE: -13°, Pendleton, OR: -12°, Pocatello, ID: -11°, Alpena, MI: -11°-Tied, Goodland, KS: -10°, Yakima, WA: -10° (broke previous record by 11 degrees), Concordia, KS: -9°, Wichita, KS: -4°, Clayton, NM: 3°, Olympia, WA: 6°, Portland, OR: 8°, Salem, OR: 9°, Quillayute, WA: 13°, Eugene, OR: 14° and Astoria, OR: 19°.


Many locations from the Midwest to the Northeast reported record cold courtesy of a strong upper level low parked over the Great Lakes. Record lows for the date included:

Fargo, ND: -29°-Tied, St. Cloud, MN: -26°, Houghton Lake, MI: -21°, Waterloo, IA: -19°, Green Bay, WI: -18°, Lansing, MI: -17°, La Crosse, WI: -17°, Omaha, NE: -15°, Lincoln, NE: -13°-Tied, Grand Rapids, MI: -11°, Muskegon, MI: -11°, Fort Wayne, IN: -10°, Flint, MI: -10°, Columbia, MO: -7°, Topeka, KS: -6°, Kansas City, MO: -6°, Binghamton, NY: -4°, Youngstown, OH: -3°, Springfield, MO: -1°, Paducah, KY: 7°, Oklahoma City, OK: 7°, New York (Kennedy Airport), NY: 10°, Fort Smith: 11°, Wichita Falls, TX: 11°, Oak Ridge, TN: 13° and Wallops Island, VA: 17°.


Strong upper level high pressure across the Southwest brought record high temperatures from the Rockies to the West Coast including: Santa Ana, CA: 90°, Los Angeles (LAX), CA: 90°, Downtown Los Angeles, CA: 89°, Long Beach, CA: 89°, San Diego, CA: 87°, Palm Springs, CA: 87°, San Diego, CA: 87°, Borrego Springs, CA: 86°, Escondido, CA: 86°, Riverside, CA: 83°, Santa Maria, CA: 83°, Pueblo, CO: 79°, Victorville, CA: 76°, Colorado Springs, CO: 71°, Denver, CO: 71°, Idyllwild, CA: 70°, Las Vegas, NV: 70°, Eugene, OR: 66°, Salem, OR: 66°, Lander, WY: 64°, Billings, MT: 63°, Portland, OR: 60°, Astoria, OR: 60°-Tied, Ely, NV: 59°, Winnemucca, NV: 58°-Tied, Casper, WY: 56°, Havre, MT: 54°-Tied and Pocatello,. ID: 47°.


Record cold affected areas from the southern Plains to the Ohio Valley courtesy of an upper level trough. Baton Rouge, LA recorded its coldest week on record and was the coldest December on record at Corpus Christi, TX. Some areas broke their old temperature records by as much as 12 degrees.

Locations that reported record low temperatures included: Springfield, IL: -15°, Indianapolis, IN: -14°, Toledo, OH: -12°, Fort Wayne, IN: -11°, Topeka, KS: -11°, Wichita, KS: -10°, Springfield, MO: -10°, Kansas City, MO: -8°, Cincinnati, OH: -8°-Tied, Columbia, MO: -7°-Tied, Evansville, IN: -5°, Youngstown, OH: -5°, Paducah, KY: -3° (broke previous record by 10 degrees), Jackson, KY: 0°, Nashville, TN: 1°, Fort Smith: 2°, Tulsa, OK: 2°, Little Rock, AR: 3°, Oklahoma City, OK: 3°, San Angelo, TX: 4° (broke previous record by 15 degrees), Wichita Falls, TX: 4°, Oak Ridge, TN: 6°, Bristol, TN: 6°-Tied, Tupelo, MS:: 7° (broke previous record by 11 degrees), Dallas (DFW), TX: 7°, Chattanooga, TN: 8°, Dallas, TX: 9°, San Antonio, TX: 9°, Waco, TX: 9°, Shreveport, LA: 10° (broke previous record by 12 degrees), Abilene, TX: 10°, Midland-Odessa, TX: 12°, Del Rio, TX: 15°, Victoria, TX: 15°, Austin, TX: 16°-Tied, Macon, GA: 17°, Corpus Christi, TX: 18°, Austin (Bergstrom), TX: 19°, Houston, TX: 19°, New Orleans, LA: 20° and Lake Charles, LA: 21°.


A storm in the western U.S. produced heavy snow in Utah, with 28 inches reported in the Mount Holly and Elk Meadows area. Strong winds prevailed ahead of a cold front in the central U.S. Winds gusted to 46 mph at Dodge City, KS, and reached 80 mph at Ruidoso, NM. Strong northerly winds, ushering arctic cold into the north central U.S., created blizzard conditions in western Minnesota and central and eastern South Dakota.


Unseasonably cold weather prevailed in the southwestern U.S. A week of subfreezing temperatures in southern California claimed the lives of 5 people. Redding, CA was blanketed with 4 inches of snow. Locations reporting record lows included: Bishop, CA: 3°, Las Vegas, NV: 23°-Tied, Long Beach, CA: 36° and Downtown Los Angeles, CA: 39°-Tied.


Extreme cold occurred across northern Maine. Milo, ME was the cold spot in the nation with a morning low of -38°, and the low of -31° at Caribou ME was a December record for that location. Marquette, MI also set a record low with -10°.

Freezing rain spread across much of Lower Michigan, knocking out electrical power to 1.9 million customers in southeastern Lower Michigan.


A strong upper level trough dug in from the West Coast to the Plains bringing record low temperatures for the date including: International Falls, MN: -39°-Tied, Bismarck, ND: -37°, Timber Lake, SD: -32°, Mobridge, SD: -31°, Pierre, SD: -31°, Kennebec, SD: -30°, Valentine, NE: -30°, Rapid City, SD: -30°, Sheridan, WY: -30°, Watertown, SD: -29°, Huron, SD: -29°, Sisseton, SD: -26°, Wheaton, SD: -25°, Elko, NV: -25°, Scottsbluff, NE: -23°, Ely, NV: -19°, North Platte, NE: -18°-Tied, Pocatello, ID: -17°, Winnemucca, NV: -17°, Pueblo, CO: -13°, Goodland, KS: -13°, Colorado Springs, CO: -10°, Marquette, MI: -10°-Tied, Boise, ID: -9°, Salt Lake City, UT: -9° (broke previous record by 11 degrees), Clayton, NM: -4°, Amarillo, TX: -1°, Bishop, CA: 2°, Oklahoma City, OK: 3°-Tied, Lubbock, TX: 7°, Las Vegas, NV: 15°, Redding, CA: 18°, Astoria, OR: 19°-Tied, Sacramento, CA: 20°, Stockton, CA: 22° and San Francisco Airport, CA: 33°-Tied.


A year-end storm blanketed the Halifax-Dartmouth area in Nova Scotia Canada with 17 inches of snow. Winds in excess of 60 mph created blizzard conditions.

The period of 12/28/1992 through 1/15/1993 holds the record for the most consecutive days of snowfall for the Sioux City airport in Iowa. On all these days, at least a trace of snow fell.


The United Kingdom recorded their coldest December night on record when the temperature dropped to -17° at Altnaharra, Highland in Scotland.


A winter storm affected the Mid-Atlantic States into the Northeast. New York City, NY picked up 12 inches of snow as the first major East Coast storm of the winter struck on a weekend, turning the Big Apple into a winter wonderland. Theatres and businesses were still open as preparations for the big New Year's Eve celebration were underway. All three major New York airports were closed and hundreds of flights cancelled.

Snowfall rates were around 4 inches per hour at times in Sussex County, New Jersey, where as much as 25 inches of snow was reported. While snowfall totals were less further south and west, major cities such as Philadelphia, Atlantic City, and Allentown still received in excess of 6 inches of snow.

The large amount of snow was a result of low pressure which developed off of the Virginia coast. The storm rapidly intensified as it moved along the Mid-Atlantic coast, passing east of Atlantic City during the afternoon, and across Long Island and into southern New England during the evening and nighttime hours.


For the first time in 5 years, parts of Las Vegas, NV received 1 to 4 inches of snow on cars, roads, sidewalks and trees, while snow flurries fell downtown on the Strip with a temperature of 33°. This snow deposited 0.16 inches of liquid equivalent. The average December rainfall for Las Vegas is just 0.25 inches.


In the record breaking hurricane season of 2005, Tropical Storm Zeta developed well out over the Atlantic with no threat to land. Zeta peaked on 1/3/2006 with 65 mph winds before weakening and dissipating on 1/6/2006.


Check out my colleague Weather Examiners:

Baltimore, MD area weather with Tony Pann at

Orlando, FL area weather with Dr. Steve Oliver at

Houston, TX area weather & the weekly Weather America Newsletter with Larry Cosgrove at

NOAA Headlines Examiner with Dr. Steve Oliver and IPR at



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