Yes, it’s been cold — but we haven’t set any records

By Debra J. Groom

Yes, it’s been cold.

It was bone-chilling a couple of weeks ago and it’s frigid again now.

And while it may seem odd to have this many cold days in a row, this is nothing compared to two years in the past.

That’s it – think back to February 1979, says local weather observer Paul Cardinali, of Fulton.

That month, there was a stretch of 13 days of temperatures less than 0, he said. And in the more than 40 years that he’s been keeping records, Fulton hit its all-time low of minus 26 on Feb. 18, 1979.

“The average temperature in February 1979 was 10.7 degrees,” he said. “Boy, that is cold. That’s the coldest February I’ve ever recorded.”

The same was true over in the Port City of Oswego. Weather observer William Gregway said the mercury plunged to minus 20 there on Feb. 18, 1979.

Now more recently, the Fulton and Oswego areas plunged into a deep freeze in January 2005.

Gregway said Oswego posted temps at 0 or below 0 for eight days between Jan. 18 and 28. Cardinali said Fulton also recorded temperatures at 0 or below for 10 days from Jan 18 through Jan. 31.

“We haven’t experienced the prolonged cold periods lately that I can remember,” Gregway said.

Even the cold from a couple of weeks ago seems a distant memory considering what happened after that cold snap ended.

Cardinali said temperatures were below 0 on Jan. 2, 3 and 4. But then the mercury started to climb.

“It was 52 on Jan. 10 and close to 50 on Jan. 12,” he said.

The Weather Channel forecasted Fulton to see its last minus temp Thursday night. Then temperatures are supposed to go up – slightly – to a raging high of 26 by Saturday (today). Lows still will be a bit nippy in the single digits or low teens.

And The Weather Channel has that trend continuing through next Friday, Jan. 31.

Cardinali said the one thing that made this week more bearable than earlier in January was the wind. During the Jan. 2-4 cold snap, the winds were whipping, making wind chills of minus 25 degrees. This most recent cold was mostly temperature only with very little wind.

Fulton temperatures in January 2005
Jan. 18, minus 3
Jan. 19, minus 1
Jan. 20, minus 2
Jan. 21, minus 13
Jan. 22, minus 17
Jan. 23, minus 11
Jan. 24, minus 11
Jan. 28, minus 14
Jan. 29, minus 1
Jan. 31, 0

Fulton temperatures in February 1979
Feb. 1, 9
Feb. 2, 9
Feb. 3, minus 8
Feb. 4, 9
Feb. 5, 7
Feb. 6, minus 2
Feb. 7, minus 4
Feb. 8, minus 10, Feb. 9, minus 8
Feb. 10, minus 16
Feb. 11, minus 22
Feb. 12, minus 24
Feb. 13, minus 16
Feb. 14, minus 25
Feb. 15, minus 10
Feb. 16, minus 2
Feb. 17, minus 20
Feb. 18, minus 26
Feb. 19, 3
Feb. 20, 0
Feb. 21, 18
Feb. 22, 32
Feb. 23, 30
Feb. 24, 30
Feb. 25, 20
Feb. 26, 20
Feb. 27, 20
Feb. 28, 20

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