Local Weather History: The Top 10 Coldest January Temperatures & Biggest Snows On Record

Here is a look back at January's lowest temperatures & biggest snowstorms.

Posted: Jan 24, 2019 6:11 PM
Updated: Jan 25, 2019 1:58 AM

Top image:  Purdue University snow image taken in 1902.  Image courtesy of the Purdue archives:  http://e-archives.lib.purdue.edu/cdm/ref/collection/pbuildings/id/2283

I'd like to do more research on other weather observations stations in the area, I just need more time!  I am working to compile the Logansport records which go all the way back to 1854.

I am also working to compile Greater Lafayette records 1854-1878 (some chunks missing however).

Purdue University 1879-1953

Purdue University Agronomy Farm 1954-Present

NOTE: It is interesting to note the brutal, snowy winters of the 1883-1884 to 1886-1887 period. This followed the massive eruption of Mt. Krakatoa in late summer-early fall 1883 in the Dutch East Indies. Significant activity occurred to late winter 1884. This cooled the planet substantially (as much as 2.2 degrees), leading to a string of extreme winters. 

Top 10 coldest January actual air temperatures on record:

1.  -33 January 21, 1885....January 22, 1885.....January 7, 1887

2.  -28 January 5, 1884

3.  -26 January 6, 1884

4.  -25 January 15, 1893

5.  -24  January 12, 1895....January 20, 1985....January 21, 1985

6.  -23  January 10, 1886....January 19, 1994

7.  -22 January 26, 1897

8.  -21  January 25, 1897....January 20, 1994

9.  -20  January 12, 1918....January 13, 1918....January 23, 1936....January 16, 1972....January 11, 1982....January 5, 1999....January 6, 2018

10.  -19  January 13, 1912....January 1, 1968....January 16, 1977....January 17, 1977....January 18, 1977....January 17, 1982....January 18, 1994

Top 10 biggest January snow events on record (from one single storm system):

1.  13.0" January 2-3, 1999

2.  12.5" January 25-26, 1978

3.  12.0" January 15-16, 1885

4.  10.0" January 18-19, 1886

5.  9.9" January 5-6, 2014

6.  9.5" January 13-14, 1927

7.  9.0" January 31, 1982

8.  8.2" January 18-19, 1892

9.  7.8" January 3, 2003

10.  7.3" January 9-10, 1997

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