A full thirty percent of all U.S. reporting stations set record daily cold highs and 20% set record daily cold lows from Feb. 14-16, according to NOAA. From Feb. 7th to the 16th, 6,601 daily cold records (for a particular day) were tied or set.
There were 944 daily-record-cold highs on Feb. 14, alone. (Happy Valentines day everyone.)
Another 567 daily-record-cold lows were set on the following day, Feb. 15.
As impressive as those numbers are, dozens of locations set records, not just for a particular day, but for any day in their history.
Eighty – count em, 80! – all-time coldest daily high temperature records were tied or set from Feb. 14-16. That means it was colder than any day in December. Or January. Or for February. Or any other month. It was the coldest for any day in their history.
Those were the coldest high temperature record-breakers. On top of that came the 50 all-time coldest low temperature records, in 11 different states, from Feb. 11th to 16th, according to NOAA.
Breaks record set in 1893
Bottineau, North Dakota, just 10 miles from the Canadian border, recorded an air temperature (not wind chill, mind you) of minus 51F (-59.8C) on Feb. 13, toppling their previous all-time low of -50F (-45.6C) which had stood for 128 years, since Benjamin Harrison was finishing up his term as President in 1893.
Other notable all-time lows were recorded in Owen, Wisconsin (-45F); Spearfish, South Dakota (-33F); Sioux City, Iowa (-28F; a tie); Lawton, Oklahoma (-12F); and Tyler, Texas (-6F).
Temperatures as cold as minus 20F (-28.9C) were recorded as far south as the Texas Panhandle and Arkansas.
This was the first time the National Weather Service’s Houston/Galveston forecast office issued a wind chill warning, during which Hobby Airport’s wind chill bottomed out at 1 degree F (-17.2C), according to NOAA meteorologist Alex Lamers.
Temperatures were 40 to 50 degrees lower than average over a large portions of the central and southern Plains for mid-February, again according to NOAA.
Oklahoma City set its longest stretch below 20 degrees of roughly one week straight, far, far below their average low temperature in mid-February of 34 degrees, according to Lamers.
Lamers also noted Wichita, Kansas, spent 10 straight days below 20 degrees (-6.7), while Kansas City spent 11 straight days without rising above 15F (-9.4C).
Abilene and San Angelo, Texas, set all-time snow records.
It was the first time on record Little Rock, Arkansas, had two calendar-day 6-inch-plus snowfalls in the same winter season, much less in the same week. Parts of Arkansas picked up over 20 inches of snow from both storms, combined.
The cold snap peaked from February 14-16. In the NCEI database, approximately 30% of available U.S. sites set cold maximum records, and about 20% set minimum records.
Analyzed temperatures were 40-50 degrees below average over a large portion of the central and southern Plains. pic.twitter.com/0ar7iHh3Qj
— NWS Weather Prediction Center (@NWSWPC) February 18, 2021
Thanks to Oly for this link