THURSDAY FEBRUARY 8 - COLDEST DAY EVER IN WILMINGTON


Temperatures below zero are rare around here, and temperatures of -10oF are almost unheard of. In Wilmington, for example, a temperature that low has only been recorded on five days in the last century.

But on this evening back in 1934, residents of northern Delaware and surrounding areas were preparing for what would turn out to be the coldest night in their recorded history. The temperature in Wilmington fell below zero around 9pm that night, and didn't stop its plummet until it reached -15oF about 8 the next morning. Up the river in Philadelphia, the mercury bottomed out at -11oF, another record that still stands today. And to make matters worse, the winds that night howled at 20 to 25 mph out of the north, driving wind chills to -50oF.

Since that record-setting cold day, the temperature in Wilmington has approached that all-time record low a couple times, reaching -14oF twice during the 1980s. In Philadelphia, the record of -11oF has never really been threatened - the temperature hasn't been any lower than -7oF since then.

Pledge | TV12 | 91FM | Education | Community | Underwriting | Fresh Air | Membership

Listen Live! | WHYY Store | About WHYY | Contact Us | WHYY Home