Author: Mary Knapp

We had a quick cold snap to end last week. However, it wasn’t as dramatic as the cold wave of Nov 11, 1911. That was perhaps the most dramatic cold wave of record in the central United States. A hint of the cold air could be seen in the temperatures across the Central Plains during the early morning hours, where temperatures ranged from 68 degrees at Kansas City to 4 above at North Platte. In Kansas City, the temperature warmed to a record 76 degrees by late morning. Then the arctic front moved in from the northwest, and the mercury began to plummet. By early afternoon it was cold enough to snow, and by midnight the temperature had dipped to a record cold reading of 11 degrees above zero. It isn’t often that you set both a record high AND a record low on the same day. In southeastern Kansas, the temperature at Independence plunged from 83 degrees to 33 degrees in just one hour – a drop of 50 degrees!

Figure 1. Temperature ranges for Nov 11-12, 1911 (NWS, OKC)

Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library