In mid-December 1989, a severe arctic outbreak of bitter cold plunged out of the Yukon, across the plains of Canada and right into the middle of the United States midsection. The morning of December 22, 1989, brought record cold across a wide area. Notable low temperature records reached down to 23 below in Indianapolis, breaking the old record by 6 degrees, Cincinnati’s temperature dropped to minus 20, breaking the record by 7, it was 12 below in Pittsburgh and 1 below in Tupelo, Mississippi. Kanas City reached down to 23 below the coldest ever there. On the southern fringes of the cold, a storm churned through the Gulf of Mexico bringing snow to the Gulf coast with 2” in Houston and Galveston Texas and an inch in New Orleans. At the same time, as the cold departed the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains warming Chinook winds took over and in Cut Bank, Montana after a morning low temperature of 34 below zero the afternoon temperature topped out at plus 40.
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