Thirty years ago this month, the nation had its coldest December on record.
The cold reached its worst during the seven days leading up to Christmas Eve, give or take a day depending on the location.
National Weather Service meteorologist Mike Moritz, who works out of the Hastings, Neb., office, provided the following analysis by comparing winter and summer south-central Nebraska records.
In Grand Island, the seven days ending Dec. 24, 1983, were the city's coldest seven-day period on record, with an average temperature of 11.9 degrees below zero, he said.
How does that compare to the average temperature for that week? It was 37.4 degrees colder than what temperatures typically average at that time of year, he said.
Moritz compared that December departure from normal to summer temperatures as a way of providing context.
If Grand Island were to have similar below-normal temperatures during the warmest week of July, the daily temperature would average 39.1 degrees, he said.
That's colder than the coldest day recorded in July, he said. Grand Island's lowest July temperature is 42 degrees.