I think we are still thawing out from that polar vortex we saw recently. That was no joke.

It was so frigid at one point that the town of Cotton, Minnesota was the coldest place in the contiguous United States.

The North Pole, Mars and Siberia are just a handful of places that were actually warmer than us, which is never good.

Despite all this, we didn't break any records here in the Northland. Basically, this means we are simply used to it always being cold and anything a little chillier than usual doesn't really phase us.

When I heard this fact, it got me thinking - what is the record for the coldest temperature ever recorded in Duluth? How does it compare to what we saw during 2019's first (and hopefully last) polar vortex?

I did some research to find an answer. Let's break it up into two different categories to put things into perspective.

Let's start with the coldest high temperatures ever recorded. This basically means the warmest temperature recorded for any given day. Here's what I found:

  • On January 9, 1982 a high of -22 F was recorded.
  • On February 2nd, 1996 a high of -21 F was recorded. The same temperature was also recorded on January 18th of 1994 and January 14th of 1972.
  • A high of -20 F was recorded on four dates throughout history, with January 19th of 1985 being the most recent.

Needless to say, while we came close, we didn't quite break any of these records. For that, I am thankful.

Overnight lows were obviously a little bit colder. The coldest overnight lows ever recorded in Duluth are as follows:

  • An overnight low of -41 F was recorded on January 2, 1885.
  • An overnight low of -39 below was recorded on February 2nd of 1996 and on January 15th of 1972.
  • An overnight low of -38 F has been recorded four times throughout history, with January 17th of 1982 being the most recent.

All of this data comes courtesy of weather.gov.

The moral of the story here? It could always be worse. Ha!