1983: “The Coldest Christmas Ever”

Let's take a chilly trip down memory lane to 1983, when winter enthusiasts got more than they signed up for!

Are you dreaming of a snow-kissed Christmas this year? Or perhaps you’re hoping for a milder day, free from the grip of the frosty temperatures traditionally associated with the yuletide season. You might be surprised to learn that, despite the popular holiday songs, a white Christmas is more of a fantasy than a reality for most of the continental U.S.

Record-Breaking Frost: The Coldest Christmas Ever

Let’s take a chilly trip down memory lane to 1983. This was a year when winter enthusiasts got more than they signed up for! The 1980s, in general, were known for some of the iciest Decembers on record, but 1983 was a year in its own league. Over 70% of the month saw colder than average temperatures sweep across the country.

The Christmas of ’83 was one for the books. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day alone, over 125 cities east of the Rockies shattered previous temperature records. A whopping 34 of these cities even recorded the coldest temperatures for the entirety of December! Accompanied by biting winds, these sub-zero temperatures were far from merry and bright. To top it off, a blanket of heavy snow draped from the Pacific Northwest through the Great Plains and Northern Appalachians.

Imagine, if you will, a frigid -50°F in Havre, Montana. Or Chicago, where the mercury refused to climb higher than -10° F in the days leading up to Christmas, eventually plummeting to a shocking -25° F. Sioux Falls, S.D., found itself in a deep freeze as temperatures fell below 0° F on December 15, and remained stuck there for over nine chilling days. The city experienced a bone-chilling -23 °F over Christmas, enhanced by 60 mph winds that delivered wind chills of -70 °F. Even typically temperate locations like Huntsville, Ala., experienced a dip to -1° F, while Galveston, Texas, shivered at a brisk 14° F.

Do you recall this frosty Christmas tale? We’d love to hear your stories or memories of this unforgettable chill in the comments below!

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Farmers' Almanac - Itch
Jaime McLeod

Jaime McLeod is a longtime journalist who has written for a wide variety of newspapers, magazines, and websites, including MTV.com. She enjoys the outdoors, growing and eating organic food, and is interested in all aspects of natural wellness.

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Arthur Bhutic

We may have this next year. Especially due to the Gulf Stream is gonna collapse.


I had the pleasure of working the midnight shift that night at the refinery. Outside air with a nice breeze blowing off Lake Michigan made it feel like it was hundreds of needles hitting any exposed flesh. The vinyl gloves we wore would go stiff as bricks rendered hands useless. At times during the cold dark night we had to go to Berry Lake Tank Field to restart a pump. The winds were much stronger there between the large tanks. I believe the wind chills were closer to -70. In the morning our reliefs all showed up! The 77 impala had a rough wake up that morning, but it carried my frozen but back home.

Steven DeRenzy

I was driving a bread truck Christmas Eve 1983 and got stuck in a snow drift in the country. Caught a ride into the nearest town where I got in another bread truck with a friend headed home. We ran out of fuel twenty- five miles from home and walked to a country restaurant where we caught a ride in a pick up truck to home.


Our firstborn daughter was 6 mos old at Christmas 1983. We’d had record high temps bringing her home from the hospital in June. My brother’s family was to host my family’s Christmas reunion that year in Suburban Chicago. We lived north of Indianapolis at that time.
At first, I gathered insulated clothes and blankets, for the trip, but I-65 North (our path to Chicago) closed due to drifts and wind chill. We we’re told if our car failed, we could freeze to death in a matter of minutes. Alternate routes north would add many hours to our trip.
From then on, we all decided that new year’s weekend or other times were fine for Christmas reunions, whatever allowed us safe travels.


How lucky that you were able to avoid that! We agree – safe travels mean happier reunions!

Robert Riley

I was a baby that time only 2 years old and my brother Bradley was born 2 months before in October of 1983. 39 years later, same thing happened and I realized I lived through that event even though I have no memory of it.

Loyd Wood

That was the year my oldest son was born. We were living in a single wide mobile home and the water pipes froze for a week we had to move in with my in-laws. It was terrible and there was a small lake on my route to work that was completely frozen. One year I will never forget.

Jack Stephens

I remember December, 1983 quite vividly. It was so cold that the Mississippi River froze solid as far south as Memphis, and all river traffic came to a halt. Living in Natchez, Mississippi, my entire life, I had never witnessed ice flowing down the river although my father indicated that similar conditions occurred in 1940. On New Year’s Day, 1984, the ice flowing down the river covered the entire width of the river, which is a mile wide at Natchez. Some brave (?) souls got into boats, approached some of the larger pieces of ice an actually got upon them and rode them for several miles downstream!


WOW! What a memory! Thank you for sharing!


I remember December 1983 very well. We buried my grandpa on December 23rd. It was -27 that day with a wind chill of -50. The entire family made it to central IL for the services. Some driving from KY and OH taking up to 14 hours to get here. That Christmas was brutal in so many ways but at least we were all together as a family.


I had my 2nd son Dec 24, 1983 in Minneapolis and it was very cold. -80 wind chills.

Sandi Duncan

Wow … that is COLD!

Lorie Johnson

I was in the Air Force, and remember that storm quite well, because I was changing bases from Sunnyvale AFS in the SF Bay Area, to tech school at Biloxi, MS. I had leave to visit my parents for Christmas in Arkansas.

I was driving a ‘76 Chevy banger with a recently repaired engine. Unbeknownst to me, the mechanic neglected to replace the thermostat that regulated the heat in the car cabin.

Everything was fine until I got into the mountains and the temperature dropped like a rock. The heat was nonexistent and I was getting colder the further east I went. There was frost inside my car. I put my Santa hat on to keep my head warm.

On day two I stopped for gas and a break in NM and was so cold that I could barely move. It was Christmas Eve, and I wasn’t sure if I could get to Dallas before sunset.

But someone in the shop saw me struggling to get out of the car and helped me into the shop. They were having a Christmas Eve celebration and invited me to join them. I did. While I thawed out, the mechanic asked if he could look at my car. He discovered the missing part, but didn’t have anything in his shop to replace it with. So he took some cardboard and put it behind the front grille of my car to get some heat into the cabin.

I filled the tank, and got ready to leave, but the grandmother insisted that I take a thermos of hot soup with me. I gratefully accepted it and got back on the road. I made it to Dallas, and then to Little Rock on Christmas Day. The heat was feeble, but better than it was before the kind mechanic installed the cardboard. I got home in one piece, and only after getting home did I learn how severe the cold was.

I’m eternally grateful to the kind Mexican family who helped me, and I have loved posole soup ever since.


My grandma died in northeast Nebraska on December 15. My brother and I had to drive to our grandparents’ separately from our parents a couple of days later. The choke fuse in the Chevy Chevette blew on the way. A mechanic replaced it halfway into our trip but knocked out the fuse for the blower in the meantime. He didn’t have a replacement. We went on our way and we would put the heat onto the windshield until we couldn’t feel our toes and then would switch the heat to the floor. While our feet thawed, my brother scraped the inside of the windshield so I could see to drive! Ninety minutes later we finally got to the farm and got thawed out!


Two weeks before Christmas that year our family commemorated a memorial to my two late brothers whom had died the previous two years. One week later another brother would die Saturday night as a passenger on a college friend’s snow mobile going down a mistaken country road which abruptly ended hitting frozen plowed snow launching their sled approx. 75′ into a brushy ditch.
It was -25° with no wind-chill.
Unfortunately, Dubuque county volunteer snowmobilers assisted in search and rescue finding them at noon the following day.

Keith Gibson

I remember driving from Dubuque to Storm Lake, IA on X-Mas eve., 1983. Got snowblind around Ft.Dodge and my wife drove last 60 miles to Storm Lake. My 1 yr old son was in back seat carrier. So grateful to make safely home. That night wind-chill around StormLake was -100. Farmers died that night just going out to check on livestock in their barns. Hundreds of fowl and livestock perished that night. My high school buddy and I went up to the Amvets that night for a few beers, a few too many because relieving ourselves in parking lot can still recall the tinkle town freezing upon contact with the ground, tiny amber icicles sliding all around. By far the most fearsome, awesome display of mother nature’s power I have ever been around.

Keith Gibson

X-Mas eve 1983

William Larney

Thirty-nine years ago, on Christmas Eve Day in 1983, it was 80 below zero windchill here in Iowa. I got stuck on a country road 2 1/2 miles from the family farm. I put on my leather coat and used my pocketknife to cut some eye slots in my stocking cap to protect my face from the wind. I managed to walk to the neighbors and spend Christmas Eve with them. Looks like the same type of chilly Christmas for 2022.

Tony Petres

I lived in Vermillion SD at that time and things got really miserable right after Thanksgiving (like Nov 28-29th). We were planning to go duck hunting on the Missouri River east of Pierre in early December but called it off when the river froze over. I remember large numbers of 18 wheeler’s sidelined on the I-90 and I-29 with gelled up fuel. It was all but impossible to work outside much of that December and the week of Christmas was exceptionally brutal. My folks lived in Salem SD and I remember their gas furnace running almost continually that week before Christmas, Finally, a friend of mine who ranches south of Camp Crook SD told me it he had a reading of -48 F. actual on Dec. 23. The temps broke the day after Christmas, but it was still plenty cold on New Years, as my wife and I discovered when our chairlift stalled on Terry Peak on 1/1/84. They almost had to rope us out!


Yes I remember that cold December, the moisture in the service gas froze meters . Gas company was scrambling in thaw meters all over town. Yes, I remember that December.

Sandi Duncan

Yikes! Here’s hoping that never happens again.


Christmas was on a Sunday that year. We generally went to church every single Sunday but we didn’t go that day because of the cold. It is the only white Christmas I remember while growing up. (Pennsylvania)

Sandi Duncan

Amazing what we remember and why isn’t it? Thanks for sharing your memory.

Deb G

I remember looking out my dining room window that night. the snow was heavy and deep here and we had a wind chill of -80!! I remember thinking, as i looked out the window, that’s DEATH outside!! I was in Urbana, IL.

Last edited 1 year ago by Deb G
Sandi Duncan

OMG I can’t imagine!!


Sure do my daughter was born that day. -50 windchill in Cleveland Ohio

Sandi Duncan

Oh wow! Happy birthday to her!


My furnace died that winter. We were w/out heat most of it. Used some smelly inefficent propane heaters until a new furnace was finally installed. It was getting warmer by then. Many nights in the ‘teens that winter and it snowed in SE NC! Friends let me camp out @their house some which was helpful. I like the cold and snow but I won’t forget that ‘cold interior’ winter. I moved to Alaska then New England after that. Loved it but always had heat!!


That year we visited my parents in the panhandle of Oklahoma. Mom’s friend had a heated coy pond. When a small wild cat tried to catch one of the fish for lunch, the cat’s feet froze to the rim of the pond as it inadvertently splashed the water onto it’s feet. The friend had to go out in -14° (-40° windchill) and thaw the cats feet, bring her in and warm her up.


That sure is cold! Poor cat! Glad your friend was able to rescue them.


I remember Christmas Eve day! I drove to work that morning from the north side of Chicago down to The University of Chicago Hospital, and I didn’t see a single other person driving on Lake Shore Drive during my entire commute. That was very eerie! At the time, I had no idea how dangers it was for me to be out driving that morning.

Charles kingery

We went to visit our mom at St. Francis hospital in blue island Illinois the morning of Christmas 1983. We got out of the vehicle only had 100 feet to walk into the front door. Dressed to the hilt with parkas, masks before any mandates, polar gloves we bravely withstood death on our way to see our mom. Temps -25, wind sustained 30 miles per hour,gusts to 50. People thought we were ice cream when we entered. How can l forget? Never!


We were in Del Rio Texas which almost never gets snow and we had 13” one day. That Christmas, we drove to San Antonio in order to fly to DFW to be with family. Once north of the city, the landscape below looked like frozen tundra as we got closer to Dallas.

Jo Jean Knard

Here in Kansas there was no problem because we all remembered the blizzard of ’71 and everyone was prepared.


I remember 1983 very well and YES it was the coldest Christmas for central Florida. As an 11 year old it is the only “White Christmas” that I remember having in Florida. The citrus industry ran the water sprinklers for days which resulted in trees covered in ice. The bad news was that thousands of acres of orange groves were lost.


I don’t remember 1983, but I do remember 1989. Christmas Eve Eve (12/23) was 1 above in Birmingham, Alabama, and 9 above in Montgomery where I lived at the time. On Christmas Eve morning, temperatures dropped to 4 above in Birmingham and 7 above in Montgomery. I was under the weather with strep and had a 10 day shot, felt much better Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Went to a basketball game the night of 12/22 and my dad carried my across the parking lot in 6 degree weather. Brrrr…..

Lou Stoorza

I came up from Chicago for Christmas in Boscobel WI. The wind was blowing like mad and the temperatures were frigid. I stopped at a grocery store at the side side of town and the large pane glass windows were cover with thick ice. As I approached my destination between Boscobel and Blue River, I turned onto a road that I came out of an hour earlier. To my surprise (which I should not have been surprised due to the high winds), the road had drifted over and my car got stuck in the snow. As I mentioned, the wind was blowing very hard. The temperature was below zero. I got our of my warm car, walked around the back to the passenger-side rear tire and by the time I got there, my chin was numbed. This was Christmas Eve, 1983.


I didn’t exist in 1983 but I heard a story from grandparents in that time! They said it was so cold that year it was the coldest year they ever had it never snows where I live and if it does, it’s very rare and it’s sometimes cold!


December 1983. Houston, Texas.

I was living in the Montrose area. Back when there were still a lot of run down parts of Montrose. A cheap garage apartment; the sort of place that when someone went into the ground level to do laundry you could see the light go on through the floor. Pretty much zero insulation.

When I left town to go to New Orleans for a few days it was in the 60s. Pretty normal. No great internet weather forecasting then. Two strong cold fronts came through and we had record cold. 9F at one point. 91 consecutive hours below freezing. Old record was 67. For comparison, we’re looking at maybe 30 next week.

Of course, being a foolish young man I had not left any heater on. When I got back it was in the 20s inside my apartment. The toilet froze over. The warmest spot in the place was my fish tank. The heater there struggled heroically to keep the water in the upper 40s. All the tropical fish were on their sides on the bottom (luckily most suspended and survived).

It took three days of running the window unit full blast to get the toilet to flush. My parents had just gotten divorced and had no room for me. I spent the three days at brother’s in-laws house


I remember that cold cold year in Chicago in 1983. I bought a new house by working at the post office a few years earlier. I remember saying to myself I am not going to work today. Now that old saying “whether rain, or sleet, or snow the mail must go through. Although I had time on the book I was still written up. But we had a strong union so no biggie. I still remember laying in bed with my 2 then young sons. One of which is 47 yrs old. My how the time does fly. I wrote this because I live in Minnesota and currently it is a balmy -11. I use to live in California and Arizona but I missed my 4 seasons and snow. ???????

Floyd Kennedy

I had bought a new pickup truck in 1983 and drove it from Albuquerque, MN to Dallas, TX. The temperature in truck would not warm even with the heater on. When I got to Dallas they were having one of the coldest winters in 40 years. The gas supply was so depleted that has to attach mobile propane units to keep pressure up. During time in Dallas had to go under house to repair busted water pipes. So with cold temperatures and spraying water was coldest have ever been.

Judy Bernier

That Christmas of 1983 was one to remember for sure. We lived (and still do) on Lake Granbury in GranburyTexas. We live on a channel and not on the main body. It was in the teens for two weeks and the channel froze! My husband and I grew up in Chicago so when we transplanted to Texas in 1977 we brought our ice skates along with us. Never did we think we’d be ice skating on the lake! We did stay along the edges in case the ice broke. It was at least 4 inches frozen. What a blast! Our youngest daughter was a year old on
12-11-83. Our older daughters, 10 and 7, thought it was awesome “walking” on the lake. The only thing that was not so good is that we lost all of our shrubs!

Barry Stoots

I remember walking up the driveway to my grandmothers house to celebrate Christmas Eve and the wind coming across the lake was freezing my eyes. It hurt. The longest 100 yards I’ve ever walked. The weather guy was warning everyone about the -60 to -80 sustained wind chill. He also said that some of the gusts was bumping the wind chill to near the -100 below zero mark.
I remember this very distinctly but when I tell the story people scoff in disbelief. Obviously some of you have similar memories.

As a young driver I remember having put cam2 20W-50 motor oil in my jeep. Even with jumper cables on the motor wouldn’t even spin LOL. I had to build a fire in a charcoal grill and put it under the oil pan for a couple of hours. Some lessons you don’t have to learn twice.

Deb G

Yes!! I remember the -80 windchill that year. I’m glad i’m not the only one who remembers that!

Joe butler

We had lived in southwest Florida for one year in port Charlotte Florida. Dec 24 th 1983 That day we actually had snow flurries falling on our lawn and dock. Of course none stuck but it was a nice happening for us. The rest of the country was really struggling though.


I remember people would start their vehicles and let them run for an hour before driving, no one worried they would be stolen and wherever you went (if you dare go anywhere) you left your engine running because there was no guarantee it would’ve started again.

My son was born 11/28/83 and my family lived 90 minutes away, so I decided to stay home rather than risk the brutally cold weather with a newborn. I stuffed towels in the window sills and under the doors to try to keep cold air from seeping in. My sweet baby and I shared our day together just the two of us.

John Greve

I was in HVAC service field back then…..we worked around the clock for the three day Christmas weekend trying to keep customers homes and business’s from freezing up.This was in Milwaukee,Wi….the temps were around -20 with a howling wind that never eased up. It was the most miserable weekend of my life….never did I second guess my career choice more than on that weekend. Those weather conditions were the worst that I ever worked through in my almost 40 year career servicing HVAC units. I think back about that weekend quite often…..I’ve shared many of the stories of that weekend with my wife through the years. It was a defining weekend in my life….a real test of my character….I remember so many details as if they happened yesterday….not 37 years ago.

Susan Higgins

Wow, John, thanks for sharing! Glad you made it through.

John Greve

Thanks Susan….I’m enjoying retirement much more than that experience to be sure.?


The temperatures just kept falling each day, a step down pattern. Finally, just at Christmas, I looked at the thermometer outside and thought it must not be working: -52 F
We were living a couple miles away from the Havre, Mt airport where they recorded an official -50 F temperature record.
The next day we visited my brother and sister in laws house and I happen to look at the barometer. I inquired if the barometer was working and they said yes, it had been recalibrated about 2 months before. The reading was unbelievable high. I don’t remember the exact reading but I think it was right at 31.40.
I wish I had paid more attention to detail and noted the exact barometric reading. I may have been the highest ever seen in the continental US!!


We moved from Florida to Iowa that year,don’t ask me why. I was 11 and had never seen snow.It was insanely cold and we almost died we got so sick.

Jay Free

I was a senior in college in Wisconsin. We lived off campus and my car died earlier that month. Remember long walks to campus when the breath inside a scarf wrapped round my face froze my face. It was even hard to blink and the term ‘bone-chilling’ means something quite painful when it’s actually true. Come Xmas vacation, I thought I would get my car ready for a drive to O’Hare but by that time it was a two-day wait just to get a tow truck out and the car battery would refreeze before I could hook it up after leaving it inside overnight so took a bus instead. It was -50 windchill when I left (had been colder a couple days before) – and arrived in Hawaii it was 80. Not many folks have ever arrived in Hawaii to get the lei garland in Arctic gear.

Susan Higgins

Jay Free: hahaha – great story! Thanks for sharing.


Omg, I had just graduated college that winter. I was still working at a restaurant in Lincoln, NE and I came out to my car on 12.24 at 2am and it wouldn’t start and wouldn’t jump. The next morning I had it towed and found most of liquids had frozen! Had to rent a car for the holidays and eventually got mine back. Lesson learned – don’t park in an uncovered area in sub-zero weather! By the way, I also got frostbite on my ear when trying to jump my car – I was too cool for a hat. Another lesson learned!

Sandi Duncan

Ha! Weren’t we all too cool for hats and even coats! Thank goodness we learn from mistakes. Thanks for sharing your story!

Paula Glenn Lamb

Yes I was pregnant with my second child. I had been on bed rest and traveled to my aunt and uncle’s home. I was amazed at the temperature just getting from our car to their front door.


I remember being at high school wrestling practice when the wind chill was over 100 below (I believe they’ve adjusted that calculation since then). This was in St. Paul, MN. I thought it was crazy!

Susan Higgins

Patrick: wow, that’s COLD! Thanks for sharing!

Chuck Palmgren

Patrick, I remember this cold snap. At 8PM on December 23rd I left Minneapolis headed west 150 miles to pick up my mother to bring her back for Xmas Eve. I hit the halfway point and ran into a ground blizzard and the windchill was -100F. You could look up and see the moon. Straight ahead visibility was at best 15’. I was in a line of 3-4 cars crawling along at 20 mph and we kept changing places because you couldn’t last very long in the lead. About 50 miles from my destination the last car peeled off and I was the only car on the road. The local radio station was using the word “fatal” to describe what your situation was if your car stalled. I finally crept into Montevideo and got what must have been the last motel room in town. Ironically I think it was same room my groomsmen and I changed in before my wedding 17 years prior. I made the last 30 miles to pick up mom the next day. An unforgettable Christmas.


I had moved from Indiana to Austin, TX and remember going to Midnight Mass in Austin when it was 11 degrees above zero with a 35 mph wind, and a wind chill of -33F. There was a skiff of snow on the ground when I woke up the next morning with a low of +7. The high that particular Christmas day was 19. The next day we had an ice storm.

That particular Christmas in Austin was colder than ANY Christmas I’d ever spent in Indiana — up to Christmas, 1989 in Austin when the low was +4 degrees.

jack & Tina

Can’t forget the day…ever. We were in OKC, at Childrens Hospital. Our newborn (DOB 11/09/83), was born with transposition of the great vessels. He died at 5pm Xmas Day. He lived six weeks, four days, one and a half hours…he made it thru the surgery to fix the heart defect, then died of infection. The weather was so bad, and the state of Oklahoma, in its infinite wisdom, had put on a hiring freeze that affected the RNs there at the hospital, that most of the nurses slept there at work because they couldn’t get home. Wind chills were around 30 to 40 below. He died, then we made the long walk (think Sean Penn’s walk in that movie) to my dad’s pickup. We had borrowed it because our vehicle wouldn’t start in that kind of weather. It took over an hour to defrost the windows, then we started driving on I-35 to our hometown (100 miles to the north, straight up the interstate). A little less than halfway home, the pickup threw a rod (done, finished, motor kaput). This was before cell phones and my wife and I just decided to sit there and freeze to death. We didn’t care at that point. About an hour after breaking down, with windows once again froze over and no heat, and with an engine that wouldn’t start, I looked across I-35, and in the south bound lanes, I saw a pickup crossing the median. Good, I thought, maybe its carjackers and they were sent to us by God to put us out of our misery. It was my brother-in-law. He pulled up behind us, and the only words he uttered the next 60 or so miles home were: After me asking how he knew we had broke down: He states” You were overdue.” That’s it. Yes, we remember the weather all-too-well…the weather…never seen anything like it before. Now I’m sitting here on Xmas day, 2019, 36 years to the day later, waiting for the grandkids to open their presents. And yes, I always try to be by myself at exactly 5pm on this day…and our weather today, here in Stillwater, OK? 70 degress is forecast.

Melissa Bee

❤️ ❤️

Kay Holtz

i am so so sorry for your loss, even though it is so many years ago. How sad for you and your family. But how fortunate your brother-in-law had the foresight to look for you. today is the feast day of all guardian angels, and yours was indeed watching out for you. Kay Holtz


That story made me cry. Love to you and yours

Carl McCurdy

At that time there was an annual tradition of playing brass ensemble Christmas carols on a street corner in front of St Peters church in Rome Georgia. That Christmas Eve it was so cold our valves froze after 2 measures and we were unable to play. I know there are measures that brass bands up north use to counter this problem but remember this was Georgia, and just like driving on ice, we were woefully unprepared!!

Terry T

I was a sales manager at Carousel Porsche & Audi. Audi had introduced their 1st automatic transmission diesel.
The first cars came in to the dealership in early November. We delivered 18 of them between Thanksgiving and Christmas. At that time there were two types of diesel fuel, #1, a lighter weight fuel and #2, a heavier version. Un-beknownce to us, these all had the #2 fuel from the receiving port in Houston, Texas.
We received over a dozen customer calls (not very happy) that their brand new car
wouldn’t start…The diesel fuel (#2) had “gelled” due to the very low temperatures and thus would not flow to the engine. As I recall we towed in over a dozen of them to our shop to warm up the #2 fuel. After removing the fuel (we pumped it into our used oil tank
for recycling) and thinned out the remaining fuel by filling the tanks with #1.
FYI, The current diesel fuels are specially formulated for regional climate conditions.


Jeff Clark: My husband and I were married December 17, 1983 in Chicago. We had a record lows that day as well with extreme windchills! It was the happiest day of my life.


I was living in a Detroit Michigan suburb during the 1983 holidays. Visited friends for Christmas eve or Christmas, I can’t remember which. But they had a small home and each time someone would open the front door the entire front room of their house would instantly fog up to zero visibility. Sub zero air meeting the cooking heat and humidity I guess. I also remember that the brutal cold of being outside for just a few seconds was painful. I ended up moving to Phoenix Arizona a few months later. Then in 1990 it hit 122 in Phoenix. I was out shopping that day and I can still hear the sticky sounds made by car tires as they drove over the melting blacktop in the parking lot. Soon after that I moved to a more moderate climate … so now I deal with the threat of wild fires.

Susan A Little

December 24, 1983 as I remember was -70 during the night. My mother received a call from my great-aunt, that the heat was not working in our 3-story mixed use building in downtown Lemont, Illinois. She owned it and lived on the 2nd story. My mother, pharmacist brother, and I ran the pharmacy on the 1st floor.
Sure enough, after walking a block, we discovered that the boiler had went out. We had to transport the dear aunt to our home. All the tenants (4) were instructed to go stay elsewhere and we would provide payment. Also, they were told to not run any water or flush toilets. One tenant did not listen and flushed her toilet and cracked it. Oh well.
For 3 days, in order to work in the drugstore we had no heat and worked in our winter jackets. That was a very costly boiler to replace. What a memory! Sue Little

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