National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Weather trivia for January


Jan 1, 1864
Snow, gales and severe cold hit the Midwest. It was the most
bitter New Year's day of record with afternoon highs of 16 below
zero at Chicago IL and 25 below at Minneapolis MN.

Jan 2, 1910
A great flood in Utah and Nevada washed out 100 miles of railroad
betweeen Salt Lake City UT and Los Angeles CA causing seven
million dollars damage.

Jan 3, 1990
A winter storm in the southwestern U.S. spread snow across
Colorado and New Mexico. Heavy snow fell in southwestern
Colorado, with 13 inches reported at Wolf Creek Pass. Snow
spread into the Central Plains Region during the day, with six
inches reported at Garden City Kansas.
IN 1998...One half to one inch of ice accumulated causing
numerous accidents over parts of south central Kansas.

Jan 4, 1971
A blizzard raged from Kansas to Wisconsin, claiming 27 lives in
Iowa. Winds reached 50 mph, and the storm produced up to 20
inches of snow.

Jan 5, 1982
A three day rainstorm in the San Francisco area finally came to
an end. Marin and Cruz counties were drenched with up to 25
inches of rain, and the Sierra Nevada Range was buried under
four to eight feet of snow. The storm claimed at least 36 lives,
and caused more than 300 million dollars damage.

Jan 6, 1988
It was a bad day for chickens. Heavy snow in Arkansas, with
totals ranging up to 16 inches at Heber Springs, claimed the
lives of 3.5 million chickens, and snow and ice up to three
inches thick claimed the lives of another 1.75 million chickens
in north central Texas. Up to 18 inches of snow blanketed
Oklahoma, with Oklahoma City reporting a record 12 inches of
snow in 24 hours.

Jan 7, 1873
A blizzard raged across the Great Plains. Many pioneers,
unprepared for the cold and snow, perished in southwestern
Minnesota and northwestern Iowa.

Jan 8, 1987
A winter storm moving out of the Southern Rockies into the
Central Plains produced 14 inches of snow at Red River New
Mexico, and 17 inches in the Wolf Creek ski area of Colorado.
Wichita Kansas was blanketed with seven inches of snow.
IN 1993...An area of heavy snow moved into the southwest Kansas
area from the Oklahoma Panhandle. Heavy snow began across southwest
Kansas late Friday afternoon and continued into Saturday morning.
Snowfall of 10 to 12 inches was reported in Stafford, Pratt, and
Barber counties. Other snowfall amounts included 10 inches at
Larned, 8 inches in Dodge City, Garden City, and Syracuse, and 8
to 9 inches in Edwards, Kiowa, and Comanche counties.

Jan 9, 1987
A winter storm spread heavy snow from the Central Plains into the
Great Lakes Region. Heavier totals included 9 inches at Sun City
Kansas, 7 inches at Columbia Missouri, 11 inches at Terre Haute
Indiana, and up to 10 inches in the southern suburbs of Chicago
IN 1993...A big snowstorm dumped 17.2 inches of snow on Topeka
KS in 24 hours.

Jan 10, 1975
The storm of the Century hit Minnesota. A severe blizzard moved
from south to north producing up to two feet of snow. High winds
drove wind chill readings to 80 degrees below zero, and at Duluth
Minnesota the barometric pressure dipped to 28.55 inches. The storm,
which claimed 35 lives, occurred on the 102nd anniversary of the
infamous Pioneer Blizzard in Minnesota.

Jan 11, 1972
Downslope winds hit the eastern slopes of the Rockies in northern
Colorado and southeastern Wyoming. Boulder Colorado reported
wind gusts to 143 mph and twenty five million dollars property

Jan 12, 1888
A sharp cold front swept southward from the Dakotas to Texas
in just 24 hours spawning a severe blizzard over the Great
Plains. More than 200 pioneers perished in the storm. Sub zero
temperatures and mountainous snow drifts killed tens of thousands
of cattle.

Jan 13, 1886
A great blizzard struck the state of Kansas without warning.
The storm claimed 50 to 100 lives, and eighty percent of the
cattle in the state.
IN 1989...Friday the 13th was bad luck primarily for the south
central U.S. as an upper level weather disturbance spread a
mixture of snow and sleet and freezing rain across Texas and
Oklahoma. Snowfall totals in central Oklahoma ranged up to 8.5
inches at Norman.

Jan 14, 1882
Southern California's greatest snow occurred on this date.
Fifteen inches blanketed San Bernardino, and even San Diego
reported a trace of snow.

Jan 15, 1852
Between January 15th and February 24th a total of 1,378 rairoad
cars were drawn by horses across the frozen Susquehanna River to
engines waiting at Havre De Grace MD.

Jan 16, 1987
A winter storm produced a total of 61 inches of snow at Rye
Colorado, and wind gusts to 100 mph in Utah. The storm then
spread heavy snow from the Texas panhandle to Indiana. Tulia
Texas received 16 inches of snow, and up to 14 inches was
reported in western Oklahoma.
IN 2001...Snow spread across southwestern Kansas from west to
east. The heaviest snowfall occurred south of a Larned to
Hugoton line and north of a Meade to Macksville line. Six to
10 inches was common. Eleven inches was recorded near Elkhart,
15 inches in Johnson and 16 inches in Syracuse.
IN 2017...A strong winter storm system affected much of central
and southwest Kansas starting as early as January 13th at some
locations and ended early January 16th. The greatest ice
accretion did not occur until late on the 14th and continued
into the 15th. Surface winds increased on the evening of the
15th and continued through much of the 16th. However, impacts
were felt througout the week due to power loss, school
closings, tree and power line damage. The greatest accretion
of ice streteched from Liberal and Ashland through Dodge City,
Jetmore, Greensburg and Larned. Water equivalent was 2 to as
much as 4 and a half inches. Ice accretaion was an inch and a
half to an inch and three quarters. Early estimates were well
over 15 million dollars in damage done to power poles, power
lines, tree damage and removal, and damage to structures from
falling tree limbs. Some areas were without electricty for a

Jan 17, 1993
A band of convective snow showers moved to the north across
southwest Kansas. The showers became stationary across the
northern portion of the area during the early evening hours.
Snowfall reports of four to seven inches were reported from
Kinsley to Jetmore to Garden City.
IN 1996...Strong winds blew into southwest Kansas during the
afternoon pulling wind chill temperatures to minus 45 degrees,
downing tree limbs, damaging and lifting roofs, pushing semi
trucks and trailers over, and causing power outages and furnace
problems. Peak wind gusts throughout the area ranged from 60
to 75 mph. A semi truck and trailer was blown over by a gust of
wind 24 miles east of Garden City on Highway 156. Both lanes of
traffic were blocked on Highway 54 two miles west of Meade by a
semi that rolled over.

Jan 18, 1987
A storm in the south central United States blanketed Oklahoma
City with eight inches of snow, their highest total since 1948.
Snowfall totals in Oklahoma ranged up to 13 inches at Gage, with
drifts five feet high. Roof collapses across the state resulted
in seven million dollars damage.
IN 1990...Heavy snow fell over extreme western Kansas for a 24 hour
period from the evening of the 18th through the evening of the
19th. Snowfall amounts ranged from 11 inches in Dodge City to 15
inches west of Garden City.

Jan 19, 1883
The low of 20 degrees below zero established the record low
for the month of January at Dodge City.
IN 1993...A strong storm system moved out of the southern rockies
into the southwest Kansas area. Snowfall amounts of 6 inches were
reported in Haskell, Gray, Seward, and Meade counties.

Jan 20, 1937
This was the wettest Inaugural Day of record with 1.77 inches of
rain in 24 hours. Temperatures were only in the 30s as Franklin
D. Roosevelt was sworn in for his second term.
IN 1943...Strange vertical antics took place in the Black Hills of
South Dakota. While the temperature at Deadwood was a frigid 16
degrees below zero, the town of Lead, just a mile and a half away,
but 600 feet higher in elevation, reported a balmy 52 degrees.

Jan 21, 1983
Record snow fell in western Texas. 16.8 inches fell at Lubbock
and this broke the old record of 14.8 inches for snowfall in a
single storm. Dalhart measured 15 inches and Plainview was buried
under 18 inches.

Jan 22, 1943
Chinook winds during the early morning hours caused the temperature
at Spearfish SD to rise from 4 below zero to 45 above in just two
minutes, the most dramatic rise in world weather records. An hour
and a half later the mercury plunged from 54 above to 4 below zero
in 27 minutes.

Jan 23, 1988
Northeastern Colorado experienced its most severe windstorm
in years. A wind gust to 92 mph was recorded at Boulder Colorado
before the anemometer blew away, and in the mountains, a wind
gust to 120 mph was reported at Mines Peak. The high winds blew
down a partially constructed viaduct east of Boulder, as nine
unanchored concrete girders, each weighing forty five tons, were
blown off their supports.

Jan 24, 1916
The temperature at Browning Montana plunged 100 degrees in 24
hours, from 44 above to 56 below zero. It was a record 24 hour
drop for the United States.

Jan 25, 1821
The Hudson River was frozen solid during the midst of the coldest
winter in 41 years. Thousands of persons crossed the ice from New
York City to New Jersey, and refreshment taverns were set up in the
middle of the river to warm pedestrians.

Jan 26, 1983
The California coast was battered by a storm which produced record
high tides, 32 foot waves, and mudslides, causing millions of
dollars damage. The storm then moved east and dumped four feet of
snow on Lake Tahoe.

Jan 27, 2001
Snow began falling around noon in the far southwest corner of
Kansas and spread northeast during the day. The snow continued
into the pre dawn hours on the 28th. More than four inches fell
in all areas. A large area of greater than six inches fell south
of a line from Syracuse to Dighton to Jetmore to far southeast
Ellis county. This area of heavier snow was north of a line from
Ashland to Saint John. Two pockets of 10 to 14 inches fell from
Elkhart to Sublette and from Kinsley to Larned.
IN 2015...The high of 80 degrees tied the record high for January
at Dodge City.

Jan 28, 1922
The Knickerbocker storm immobolized the city of Washington
D.C. The storm produced 28 inches of snow in 32 hours, and the
heavy snow caused the roof of the Knickerbocker movie theater to
collapse killing 96 persons.

Jan 29, 1989
Bitter cold air continued to pour into Alaska. The temperature
at McGrath dipped to 63 degrees below zero. Strong winds blowing
through the Alaska Range between Fairbanks and Anchorage produced
a wind chill reading of 120 degrees below zero at Cantwell.

Jan 30, 1780
On the coldest morning of a severe winter the mercury dipped to
16 degrees below zero at New York City, and reached 20 degrees below
zero at Hartford CT. New York Harbor was frozen for five weeks,
allowing a heavy cannon to be taken across the ice to fortify the
British on Staten Island.

Jan 31, 1911
Tamarack California was without snow the first eight days of
the month, but by the end of January, they had been buried under 390
inches of snow, a record monthly total for the United States.
IN 1989...The high of 80 degrees established the record high for
the month of January at Dodge City.


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