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January 6, 2014

Cold, but not a record

Knoxville — While the final values may change tomorrow morning, Knoxville's low for today was -14 degrees. 

State Climatologist Harry Hillaker reported that as the official low figure for Monday morning, Jan. 6. It approached the record low for Knoxville for this date, which was -17 in 1912. Jan. 6, 1912, also had the lowest "maximum" temperature for this date, of nine degrees. 

A reading taken at the Knoxville Airport put this morning's temperature at -13 degrees. Non-airport readings are taken once per day, around 7 or 8 a.m. Temperatures may have fallen since the reading was taken, but figures will not be available until Tuesday morning. 

"The lowest actual temperature reported thus far in Iowa for this morning were -23 degree readings at Northwood, Cresco and Postville," Hillaker wrote in an electronic message. "The lowest wind chill index was -51 at the Oelwein Airport."

The lowest wind chill, at the Knoxville Airport, was -41. The Pella Airport's lowest wind chill was -39. 

This cold front has received a great deal of coverage from other news outlets, but Hillaker says that the actual temperatures this morning were not as low was what occurred on Dec. 24, 2013. For example, on that date, Osceola recorded a low temperature of -27. Today's cold event has been a combination of low temperatures and high winds. Winds are stronger today than they were on Christmas Eve. 

Other temperature readings around airports in the area included -15 at the Pella, -14 in Oskaloosa, -13 in Chariton and Ottumwa, -12 in Des Moines and -16 in Grinnell. National Weather Service volunteers reported temperatures of -16 in Newton, -14 in Oskaloosa and Albia and -13 in Chariton and Osceola. 

There has been no snowfall with this cold front. As for Knoxville's snow total this winter, thus far, the town has received 12.3 inches. Hillaker said that total is "fairly close" to the typical amount for this point in the winter. 

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