"Cold Spell" here
February 18, 2021
Yes, it has been cold outside! Temperatures around and below zero at night with wind chill readings even colder. It doesn't seem the days are much warmer.
This stretch of cold is weather is a "cold spell." A cold spell is defined (dictionary.com) as a series of days with temperatures below 20 degrees. A cold spell is colder than a "cold wave." A cold wave means the weather is below freezing for several days. Both are colder than a simple "cold snap" which is just a brief period of colder than normal temperatures.
The coldest recorded temperature in Kansas occurred about this time of year in 1905. That winter saw some very cold temperatures. Both Kansas and Missouri set their record low temperatures in 1905. In nearby Lebanon, Kan., and in Warsaw, Mo., on Feb.13, 1905, it was 40 degrees below zero.
That same day, farther south in Gravette, Ark., it was 29 below zero for the lowest ever recorded temperature in Arkansas. Three of the 50 United States recorded their record low on the same day.
"Way up North" in Alaska, at Fort Yukon, the temperature has been recorded at a minus 80 degrees. Even in the "lower 48," Medicine Lake, Mont., residents have seen 70 degrees below zero.
Of course, it has been much, much colder in Antarctica. The coldest temperature recorded there was a minus 126.4 degrees on July 21. 1983. But even colder, a minus 128 degrees in July of 1983 in Vostok Station, Russia. The lowest temperature recorded on earth.
Perhaps thinking about those temperatures, will make our teens below zero seem not so cold.