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Record ArkLaTex cold snap anniversary

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Frozen Red River, December 1983 from the Shreveport National Weather Service Frozen Red River, December 1983 from the Shreveport National Weather Service

This month marks the 30 year anniversary of the record cold December of 1983. During that period, the arctic chill moved in and remained in place from the 16th through New Year's eve.

Numerous record temperatures were recorded at that time: Record Lows: 6 F on 12/25, 14 F on 12/26, 10 F on 12/30 and 12 F on 12/31. Record cold highs: 28 F on 12/26, 20 F on 12/24 and 20 F on 12/25. We stayed below freezing for 138 hours from 12/21-12/27. The overall average temperature for the month was 37 F which was nearly 10 degrees colder than the norm. During this period, the Red River froze!

Freezing precipitation was also reported. A record 5.4 inches of snow fell on 12/16. Another notable event was the ice storm on 12/21 with over an inch of frozen rain that crippled most of the area.

One more unusual occurrence was that it stayed cloudy for 14 straight days from 12/16 through the 29th.

How does this December compare? According to the Shreveport National Weather Service, the coldest low was 25 F on 12/11, the coldest max was 34 F on the 7th, the monthly average is nearly 49 F. We had a trace of measurable snow.

So, the December 2013 seemingly extreme cold weather pales in comparison to 30 years ago.

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