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Dear Tom,
I remember a long-duration cold snap in January 1963. Is there a comparison to the present string of cold temperatures?

Mary Jean Sweeney Sheridan

Dear Mary Jean,
Though our current cold spell is still in its early stages, it is almost certain that it will fall far short of the truly major-league January, 1963 cold spell. The cold weather lasted for 23 days, beginning on January 12 and ending on February 3. During that three-week plus period, the city’s average temperature was just 5.5 degrees, with highs averaging 15.5 and lows 4.3 degrees below zero. There were subzero lows on 16 days, including the period’s coldest day January 23 that registered a high of minus 4 and a low of minus 18. The coldest part of the period was a 13-day stretch from January 13-31, where the highest reading was a 20 on January 22, and the lowest reading was minus 18 on the 23rd.