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Today DECEMBER 20TH, 1836-A famous cold wave occurred in central Illinois. A cold front with 70 mph winds swept through at Noon dropping the temperature from 40 degrees to near zero in a matter of minutes. Many settlers froze to death. Folklore told of chickens frozen in their tracks and men frozen to saddles. Ice in streams reportedly froze to six inches in a few hours.
DECEMBER 20TH, 1942-An early cold wave sent the temperature plunging to 3 degrees below zero at Nantucket MA, and to 11 degrees below zero at Boston MA.
Dec 19 DECEMBER 19TH, 1777-The Continental Army moved into encampment at Valley Forge amidst stormy winds and piercing cold. A relatively moderate winter followed.
DECEMBER 19TH, 1924-The Riverside Ranger Station in Yellowstone Park WY reported a low of 59 degrees below zero, a December record for the U.S.
Dec 18 DECEMBER 18TH, 1957-A tornado swept across Jackson County, Williamson County and Franklin County in southern Illinois killing eleven persons.
DECEMBER 18TH, 1981-A heavy lake-effect snow blanketed the southern and southeast shores of Lake Michigan leaving up to 22 inches of snow at Valparaiso IND.
Dec 17 DECEMBER 17TH, 1884-A three week blockade of snow began at Portland OR. A record December total of 34 inches was received.
DECEMBER 17TH, 1924-A severe icestorm struck central Illinois. It coated the ground with nearly two inches of glaze at Springfield. The storm caused 21 million dollars damage along with much hardship. Ice was on the trees until the 4th of January, and electricity was not restored until January 10th.
Dec 16 DECEMBER 16TH, 1835-New England experienced one of their coldest days of record. At noon on that bitterly cold Wednesday the mercury stood at four degrees below at Boston, 15 degrees below at Norfolk CT, and 17 degrees below at Hanover NH. The temperature at Boston was 12 degrees below zero by sunset. Gale force winds accompanied the severe cold, and that night a great New York City fire destroyed much of the financial district.
DECEMBER 16TH, 1917-An ice jam closed the Ohio River between Warsaw KY and Rising Sun IN. The thirty foot high ice jam held for 58 days, and backed up the river a distance of 100 miles.
Dec 15 DECEMBER 15TH, 1839-The first of triple storms hit Massachusetts Bay. The storm produced whole gales, and more than 20 inches of snow in interior New England. There was great loss of life at Gloucester MA.
DECEMBER 15TH, 1945-A record December snowstorm buried Buffalo NY under 36.6 inches of snow, with unofficial totals south of the city ranging up to 70 inches. Travel was brought to a halt by the storm.
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