Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 Date of 20F below day in '92? Previous Next
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Al_t_publican
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Username: Al_t_publican

Post Number: 131
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 3:29 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I seem to recall it was on or about 24 Jan 92 when it dropped to -20F to -24F in Detroit with a high that day of only -5F.

I'm guessing that was the coldest day in Detroit since then and probably the coldest there in the last 30 years or so.

There were several winters I recall when there was a streak of 45 to 60 days where the daily high never hit 32F. When I lived in the Chalmers & Houston-Whittier area of the NE side in the early '80s I remember cross country skiing to a bar called Wubzee's (later Wooly Bully's) at Kelly and Hayes for happy hour and a kid calling out to me that my ski was "broken" due to my heel kicking up.

I'm guessing that Jan 99 has been the worst month of winter in Detroit in recent years. On 2 Jan 99, you may remember, a foot or so of snow fell on SE Mich. Then several other lesser snow falls soon followed.

Detroit averages what, 42 inches of snow per winter? I found it hard to believe while visiting Colorado Springs last summer that that area only gets something like 19 inches per winter; that area is classified as "alpine desert."
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 2178
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 3:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Much of the Midwest would be a desert if that amount of melted precipitation during the winter was the same for each of the other three seasons.
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Ndavies
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Username: Ndavies

Post Number: 2394
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 4:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Rockies are to blame for Colorado Springs dryness. Most of the moisture drops out of the clouds as they climb to cross the mountains. This leaves most of the western exposures of the rockies as rain forest and the eastern side as alpine desert. This explains the US deserts being due east of the Rockies.

Most of our huge snow storms come up from the Gulf of Mexico.
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Al_t_publican
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Username: Al_t_publican

Post Number: 132
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 4:10 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Livernoisyard,
Is that jet engine powered railcar still parked on the tracks along Livernois near W. Vernor.

Years ago I couldn't figure out what a jet engine was doing on a railroad. Someone in another state told me they use jet engines for some railroad function that I can't remember.
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Zimm
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Username: Zimm

Post Number: 5
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 4:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

i remember that cold day in January '92 well, although i do not recall the specific date. it was -40F in East Lansing, and before word got out that classes were to be cancelled for the first time ever due to extreme cold, i had biked across campus to my 8am class (which i could not miss due to already having skipped enough times in less than 1 month to be on the brink of automatic failure due to poor attendance.)

my bike tire tubes never held air well after that day, so i had to replace them...
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 2180
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 4:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I always thought that was for clearing snow off the ROWs. But I sometimes walk or drive that way and haven't noticed it for some time (although I keep reminding myself to look around for it--but never do).

I suspect that it got reassigned after the Norfolk Southern and Chessie divvied up Conrail's assets. Chessie still has about four old cabooses in regular operation near Plymouth.
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Clark1mt
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Username: Clark1mt

Post Number: 70
Registered: 06-2005
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 4:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Third lowest temperature for Detroit: -20F on 19 Jan 1994. The same day had a record low maximum of -4F. The second lowest temperature ever (based on my quick review of record lows by day) was -21F on 21 Jan 1984. And finally, the lowest ever: -24F on 22 Dec 1872. NWS records go back to 1870.
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Jimaz
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Username: Jimaz

Post Number: 1381
Registered: 12-2005
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 4:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Michigan International Speedway uses jet engines to dry the track after a rain.

I do remember another time before 1980 when it was 20 below but that was including the wind chill factor.
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Pam
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Username: Pam

Post Number: 893
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 8:27 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Third lowest temperature for Detroit: -20F on 19 Jan 1994.



That one I remember. I hit some black ice and rear ended someone at a light. Since we hadn't had any precip., I think it must have been frozen exhaust vapor. I think I will stay home if it ever gets that cold again.
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Scottr
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Username: Scottr

Post Number: 163
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 9:22 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

if i remember right, it was about 40 degrees the day before. that was quite a shock.

i had a paper route at the time - this was probably the worst day i remember for that job.
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Lowell
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Username: Lowell

Post Number: 3570
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 9:56 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The brings to mind a question I had the other day while watching a History Channel piece of rum running. Rum running took place in the winter by cars driving across the straits on the ice.

When is the last time the river froze over? I seem to remember a brief freeze over in the seventies[?] It seems like ages ago.
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Patrick
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Username: Patrick

Post Number: 3889
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 10:04 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Back in the 20's my grandpa walked across the river to Canada and back. I guess this was east of Belle Isle. I think it was February when he did it.
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Imperfectly
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Username: Imperfectly

Post Number: 171
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Wednesday, January 17, 2007 - 10:39 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I remember that Jan. in 1999. I was trapped on my street, Fairmount on the eastside. There were cars stuck at each corner. Crazy !
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Al_t_publican
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Username: Al_t_publican

Post Number: 133
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 2:05 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

So, it was Jan 94 and not Jan 92, aye?

I remember taking the day off and walking two blocks over to Nemo's for a drink. I was surprised at how many people were there.

I then went to Jacoby's and a wine salesman was doling out samples to the few souls who were there.

Reminds me of the GI in Slaughterhouse Five with other POWs in a boxcar heading for a German camp repeatedly saying, "Cold? This is nothing. Troy (NY) in '37. Now that was cold."

After a couple of those hearty quips his thermostat gave out.
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Livernoisyard
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Username: Livernoisyard

Post Number: 2182
Registered: 10-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 5:47 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It was probably 1994 because Madison WI had three consecutive days back then where the high temperatures stayed below zero. The temps ranged from about 30 below for the lows to 10 below for the highs. Then, it warmed a bit (maybe 10 above?) and many finally got the vehicles to start.
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Bongman
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Username: Bongman

Post Number: 1396
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 7:38 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Al_T-publican.....I remember that quite well. I was in an apartment at the time, and decided to walk over to a friend's place down the street to drink some afternoon beer. Turned out to be great entertainment, as we watched at least a dozen people from his 2nd floor window trying to to start their cars all afternoon. If I remember correctly, it was also snowing lightly during that entire cold streak. I also went up North that Winter and felt my coldest temperature...-27 degrees in Wellston. When you exhaled, your breath turned into ice crystals and fell like snow. Haven't seen that since.
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Goat
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Username: Goat

Post Number: 9165
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 10:12 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

For your breath to become crystals and fall to the ground the temperature needs to be -90.

Please see link below (third bullet down the page).

http://www.funtrivia.com/Envir onment/Temperature.html
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Lowell
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Username: Lowell

Post Number: 3574
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 10:50 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'll share a Wisconsin story for LY who was probably a wee lad at the time. I walked to high school in Richland Center on a -45 morning. Since it was sunny and windless, it didn't seem that bad but it did make the entire face pucker up. As I recall the high for the entire week was something like -8 in the Wisconsin 'mountains', unlike the pleasanter climes in flatlands of Madison.

Years later, by chance, I was in Chicago with my friends from the Layabouts band when all the records fell. The official temperature at O'Hare hit -27 degrees on January 20, 1985 and 36 mph wind gusts produced wind chills as low as -93 degrees. I remember looking out the windows of the loft where I was staying and seeing the smoke from chimneys being blasted perpendicular to the stacks that night. No cars would start in the morning and eventually we had to buy a new battery for one and then jump the rest.

Detroit by contrast is on the edge of Atlantic climate zones and is always milder than the upper great lakes cities.
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Bongman
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Username: Bongman

Post Number: 1398
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 12:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Never let the Internet get your goat, Goat.

Did I mention it was pipe exhale ?
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Gianni
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Username: Gianni

Post Number: 273
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 1:07 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The Detroit River has frozen across during relatively recent times, I'd say within the last 10 years more than once. I can't give a date, but I've seen it. I believe most years shipping traffic has to stop during part of the winter because of the ice, even with icebreakers.

During one of those record cold snaps, in the 80's or 90's, Lake Michigan froze all the way across.
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Goat
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Username: Goat

Post Number: 9168
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2007 - 1:17 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

lol! Well then THAT explains it :-)
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Al_t_publican
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Username: Al_t_publican

Post Number: 136
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Friday, January 19, 2007 - 8:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

How much snow in Detroit this winter so far?

How has the last few winters compared to the average of 42(?) inches?

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