There were many impressive statistics from this past winter. There are two in particular that caught my attention and these were both Chicago and the Twin Cities recording a Top 10 coldest winter on record. Chicago recorded an average temperature of 18.8 degrees from December 1 through February 28.
That ranked as the 3rd coldest winter on record for that city with records going back to 1872. The Twin Cities average temperature was 9.7 degrees and that ranked as the 9th coldest on record with records used to 1891. The location of where the official temperatures and precipitation has been taken has moved through the years in both cities, but the one consistent fact through time has been the expansion of the urban heat island influence in these large metropolitan areas. The temperature can be several degrees warmer within these cities than it is in nearby rural areas.
Yet even with that man-made heat influence these cities recorded such a cold winter. Just imagine what the average temperature would have been in a similar winter 100 years ago.