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Arctic air descended into the region on February 7 and didn't let up until the afternoon on February 20. The duration of this cold air outbreak was impressive for a large chunk of the country including our area. Paducah, KY set an all-time record with 9 consecutive days remaining below 30 degrees (previous record was 7 days in 1978). Carbondale, IL tied an all-time record with 13 consecutive days remaining below 32 degrees (also set in 1978). Numerous record lows and cold highs were established at Paducah, Carbondale, Cape Girardeau, and Poplar Bluff.

Two snowstorms and an ice storm impacted the region during this time. First came the ice storm on February 10-11, then snowstorm #1 on February 15, and finally snowstorm #2 on February 17-18. By the morning of the 18th, much of the region had picked up between 4 and 12 inches of snow between the two snowstorms. Paducah observed 5 consecutive days with measurable snow, which tied the all-time record (set back in March 1960). This helped achieve the 3rd snowiest February on record for the city with 12.2". Aided by a fresh deep snowpack, overnight lows plummeted below zero in many locations on the mornings of February 16 and 19. 

Another impressive feat was the duration of dangerously cold wind chills observed February 14-16. Paducah went 54 straight hours with a wind chill at or below 5 degrees. Wind chills of this magnitude for that duration hadn't been observed since 1985 in Paducah. It was close to breaking the record for longest duration with wind chills at or below 5 degrees which was 58 hours set in 1962. In Cape Girardeau, they observed 60 consecutive hours with wind chills below 0. This shattered the all-time record which was 46 straight hours set in 1985. Wind chill data goes back to 1972 in Cape Girardeau. In Carbondale, they observed a record-shattering 86 consecutive hours with wind chills below 0. The previous record was 22 hours on New Years Day 2018. Wind Chill data goes back to 1973 in Carbondale.

The average temperature in Paducah between February 13-17 was 12.2 degrees. This is the coldest 5 day period since 1997 for the city. Similar results were observed across other portions of the area. Carbondale, Poplar Bluff, and Cape Girardeau observed average temperatures of 8.0, 10.9, and 9.2 respectively over this 5 day period. This was the coldest 5 day period since 1996 or 1997 for these cities.

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