I know, I know. You’re thinking, “It’s a bit too early to be thinking about that level of coldness.” I’m just prepping you for what’s to come.

So far this year, there have been 20 days where the low temperature failed to get above zero. Ouch. Is that a lot? It’s double the number of days in 2020. However, 20 is the average number of days per year for Waterloo for it to get below zero.

But…2021 isn’t over yet.

Iowa Environmental Mesonet
Iowa Environmental Mesonet

According to data from the Iowa Environmental Mesonet; since 1895, there have been 23 Novembers where the low temperatures hit BELOW ZERO. (18% of all years) On November 26, 1977, it reached a November record low of -17*. But there haven’t been any days below zero in November in Waterloo since 2015 and only four days since 1996. So, it’s rather rare.

December averages around four days/month with temps reaching below zero. In 2020, there was just ONE day below zero --- Christmas Day. (It was -2*)

Which year has had the most below zero days in Waterloo? 1963 was unlucky enough to get hit with 47 days with below zero temperatures. Brrr. The 2002 and 2006 only had THREE days with below zero temperatures.

Then, there’s January, which averages over nine days per month to feature temperatures below zero. There have only been FOUR Januarys to NOT have temperatures below zero: 1989, 1990, 2002, and 2006.

February isn’t much better, especially in 2021. 15 days had temperatures below zero in February 2021 --- which tied the record for the greatest number of days below zero with February 2014 and February 1978. Our shortest month of the year averages over five days per month of days below zero. A total of nine Februarys has NEVER had a below zero temperature, most recently in 2017.

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