117 years ago, every state was below 0 degrees
The Great Arctic Outbreak of 1899 is still considered the worst cold air outbreak the United States has ever experienced.
And this was before the term “Polar Vortex” was made into the popular term it is today.
This widespread cold air occurred from Feb. 10-14, 1899.
The beginning of that month was already cold, but an even colder arctic air mass spread out across the country, bringing temperatures in every state in the Union below zero degrees Fahrenheit.
All-time state record low temperatures were broken in a dozen states and four of those records still stand — Nebraska, Louisiana, Florida and Ohio.
In present time, temperatures have taken a dive in the eastern half of the country. The entire Midwest, Southeast and Mid-Atlantic are all experiencing temperatures anywhere between five and twenty degrees colder than usual.
So far it’s been a relatively mild winter, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that air this cold may feel especially cold this year.
If it feels too cold anyway, just wait a week. Long-term forecast models have a resurgence of warmer air overtaking nearly the entire country by the middle of next week.
They didn’t have that to look forward to in 1899, either.