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Tuesday March 20, 2018
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Ann Arbor's Coldest Day?

Question Corner: January 2018

by Tim Athan

From the January, 2018 issue

Q. What was the coldest day ever in Ann Arbor?

A. February 11, 1885, when the temperature fell to -23 Fahrenheit. It was one of a series of tough winters--"The Little Ice Age" of the 1880s--which set many records that still stand. Some climatologists attribute the harsh winters to the dust and ash thrown into the upper atmosphere by the massive eruption of the Indonesian volcano Krakatoa in August 1883.

The second-coldest reading is much more recent: 22 below zero on January 19, 1994, when an arctic air mass of historic proportions settled over the state. An all-time low state temperature would have been set that day with a reading of -53 in Amasa, a town of a few hundred in the U.P., but the thermometer site was disqualified for being too close to the monitor's house.

Got a question? Email    (end of article)

[Originally published in January, 2018.]


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