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Name: Patti L Rozensky
Status: Other
Age: N/A
Location: Chicago, IL
Country: N/A
Date: N/A 


Question:
What is the cause for the record cold in Chicago (January 1994)?



Replies:
This came from the Weather Underground National Weather Summary for today (1/20/94). What caused this record cold outbreak?

The current cold wave began last week as a deep upper trough of low pressure swept across south central and southeastern Canada. Circulation around this low resulted in a cold northwesterly flow of air from western Canada deep into the central and eastern U. S. This allowed bitter cold air over the Northwest Territories of Canada to plunge southeastward across the northern plains and the upper Mississippi Valley into the south Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

The cold air came basically in two waves. The first swept across the central and eastern U. S. Late last week and resulted in at least 21 record low temperatures over the weekend. The second wave of cold air was preceded by an influx of moisture, which resulted in snow early this week on the order of feet in some locations from the Ohio valley into portions of northern New England. Twenty four to thirty inches of snow fell in south central Ohio near Lucasville. Louisville, KY received a record sixteen inches (15.9) of snow from the storm.

The extensive snow cover across the nation, from the northern tier states into the Ohio Valley, allowed an even colder surge of air to plunge across the central and eastern United States with little modification.

rcwinther



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