Several record low temperatures were established in early April, 1982. What happened?

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Dear Tom,

I’ve noticed that several record low temperatures were established in early April 1982. What happened?

Thanks,
Greg Pracz 
Westchester

Dear Greg,

April 1982 opened quite mild with high reaching the 60s on the first three days of the month. An intense spring storm swept the Midwest on April 3, accompanied by widespread thunderstorm activity and followed by a late-season arctic outbreak. As the cold air moved into Chicago, another storm system developed, bringing 9.4 inches of snow to the city. Record cold ensued with record low maximums of 31 and 32 on April 5-6 and record lows of 15 and 7 on April 6-7. Slow temperature moderation followed with highs returning to the 40s that allowed all of the snow to melt by April 11. Spring then returned in full force with the high reaching 61 on April 12 and 73 on April 15.

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