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Cleveland's coldest day on record was 29 years ago

Temperatures dropped to -20 degrees Fahrenheit on Jan. 19, 1994.
Posted at 12:53 PM, Jan 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-19 12:53:33-05

With unseasonably warm temperatures in the mid-50s today, it’s hard to imagine that 29 years ago today was the coldest day on record in Cleveland's history.

A temperature of -20 degrees Fahrenheit was recorded in Cleveland on Jan. 19, 1994.

News 5 footage from that day in Cleveland history shows cars that couldn’t start, entire storefronts iced over, traffic lights out and cars flipped on icy roads.

News 5 caught up with young Kareem Carter at Mt. Sinai Hospital. He was out in the freezing cold for just two minutes. When he slipped and fell in the freezing snow, he suffered severe frostbite in both his hands.

“I knew it was frostbite, because they were that hard and all white, and then all of a sudden, they turned flush red, and it was still real, real hard,” his mother told News 5 at the time. “His hands were froze shut. It was like meat in a freezer — it was that hard and frozen shut.”

His hands then swelled to more than twice their normal size.

“Just don’t let your kids play in the snow — just don’t,” Kareem’s mother said.

After Jan. 19, 1994, the coldest day in Cleveland in the last 30 years happened on Feb. 20, 2015, when temperatures dropped to -17 degrees, according to data from the National Weather Service.

RELATED: The coldest Christmas in Cleveland history wasn't that long ago

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