Record-breaking cold

Jacqueline Covey/Clinton Herald

Wayne Johnston, of Camanche, walks the riverfront on Dec. 28. The new year brought a new record in Clinton, with the low reaching minus-20 on Jan. 1.

CLINTON — The Gateway Area is starting out 2018 with little snow, like last year, though average temperatures today are harshly colder than last year.

Clinton broke a record on New Year’s Day for the coldest temperature on Jan. 1 since record-keeping began in the 1800s. The overnight low of minus-20 degrees broke the former record of minus-17 in 1968.

The minus-20 was the coldest temperature in Clinton since it was minus-27 in January 2009.

The recent cold snap also brought December to a crushing cold end. On Dec. 21, the month of December had a daily median of 7.2 degrees above normal. By the end of the month, the median daily temperature for the month of December was below average by 0.4 degrees. That was spurred by five below-zero degree days in the last 10 days.

Year in review

Last year, on Jan. 1, 2017, the day’s high temperature reached 39 degrees on the positive side. Snowfall accumulated little, 13 total days of snow with about an inch to a half-inch accumulating.

Wind was a factor in January 2017, with winds averaging between 11 to 26 mph, though the highest gusts reached as high as 51 mph.

February 2017 warmed up quite a bit, with mean temperatures of about 36 degrees, though the highest recorded temperature of the month was 73 degrees. Snow accumulations added another inch into the mix, though unlikely much of it stuck.

With the sun setting around 6 p.m. and rising earlier, March brought longer days and higher temperatures. Temperatures, similar in February, warmed up 5 degrees for the max temperature, reaching 78 degrees. Though the average was around 36 degrees, with a low of 6 degrees.

Come May, the average temperature wavered around 60 degrees, with a low of 35 and a high of 87 degrees. Fifteen days of rain, with about five thunderstorms throughout the month, saw the area picking up a total of 2.38 inches of precipitation for the month.

Then in July — with about 6 inches in average accumulation throughout the month — many of the towns’ businesses felt the weight of a torrential down pour. It laid out businesses, caused major damage to Ashford University Field, took out some ag fields — and pushed back the harvest season, at that. On July 22, about 4 inches of rain hit Clinton County overnight.

In September, precipitation leveled out — the average not reaching an inch. Temperatures reached 90 degrees, though lows were at a midrange of 42 degrees. November stayed around the same, though the city was back down to 10-hour days and decreasing.

And last month, mean temperature minimums and averages were both in the negative. The average temperature was about 24 degrees. Daily temperatures remained in the double-digits, positively, until around Dec. 22, which is also known as the fist day of winter. Temperatures quickly fell from 32 and 21 degrees to minus-4 and 7 degrees in a matter of days.

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