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 nation’s 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 Pittsburg and 1 below in Tupelo, Mississippi. Kanas City dropped to 23 below the colder 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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