First -40s arrive on heels of historic Erie, PA and Seattle, WA Christmas snow!

We observed the greatest Christmas Day snow cover across the Lower 48 in 5 years as well as a record shattering snow event for Erie, Pennsylvania and historic snowfall for Seattle too.

Seattle had at least 1″ of snow both Christmas Eve and Day for the first time in over 120 years! Seattle also tied their 1965 Christmas Day snow record of 1″.

But the snow prize well and truly goes to Erie, PA.

While the system snow stayed well south and east. A classic lake-effect snow event was underway for NW Pennsylvania and western upstate New York. Nothing unusual until one particularly intense and persistent band set up. Midway through Christmas Day it became apparent that an historic snowfall was underway in NW Pennsylvania and into day 2, it was historic for the entire state of PA.

A concentred area stretched from Erie, PA up to Redfield in the heart of New York’s infamous Tug Hill plateau became the epicentre of several FEET of snow which would fall over a 2-3 day stretch.

Erie’s 3 day total now comes to 63.8 inches.

First -40F

In the wake of the Christmas snow system, the coldest air of the season swept in.

Yesterday’s cold maximums set the stage nicely for what would be the coldest morning yet.


North Dakota

Daryl Ritcheson

Over fresh snow cover and beneath the clear, calm skies of arctic high pressure, we witnessed the nation’s first -40s in in northeast Minnesota.

International Falls surpassed a 1924 record this morning with a minimum of -36, Embarrass dipped to -40 but Cotton takes the prize with -41.


It was the coldest morning of the season for North Dakota with -33 in north-central.

Frigid in Fargo, ND (Credit: Daryl Ritcheson)

Credit: Daryl Ritcheson

Though not in the same league as Minnesota and North Dakota, it was still frigid in Chicago this morning. -20 in the burbs!

Not much warming up in northern North Dakota and Minnesota today!


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