That bitterly cold weather that descended across most of the U.S. over the last week was interesting for what it did and didn't do.
• Widespread cold: The air mass set or matched nearly 1,900 daily records for cold weather, according to the National Climatic Data Center. The key to that sentence is “daily.” This was unusually cold for the first week of December. It was not extremely cold for December or winter. Most of the record-setting cold occurred from Kentucky westward, although a few East Coast records were set.
• December all-time records: Only eight monthly records were set or tied, according to the NCDC. Two weather monitoring sites reported their coldest night for any December and three places reported their coldest daily high of any December. The others were records that were tied.
• Annual records: No all-time cold weather records were set, according to the data center.
• Colder days than nights: Daytime records, 1,163, outstripped nighttime records, 692.
• Off-shore chill: The cold weather caught Hawaiians, too. Honolulu matched its record for coldest December day in written history when the temperature failed to climb above 72 degrees on Dec. 2. This matched a record that had been set on Dec. 28, 1996.
• Despite nearly 1,900 nationwide records and nearly 40 records in Nebraska and Iowa, the Lincoln-Omaha-Council Bluffs metro areas didn't set any records. East-central Nebraska and west-central Iowa were in a pocket that was cold, but not in a record-setting way.
Check out a map of record coldest days, Dec. 1-9, 2013.
See a map of record coldest nights, Dec. 1-9, 2013.