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Remembering Seattle’s coldest day on record

The city saw temperatures drop to zero in January of 1950.

A photo from 1950 that shows a snowy Seattle street with busses stuck and several people wandering through the slush

Seattle’s snowiest and coldest month on record occurred in January 1950.

Photo via MOHAI

Bundle up, folks. The latest forecasts predict that temperatures in Seattle may drop into the teens over the next couple of days.

While you get a refresher on safety precautions during the freezing conditions, we were wondering just how chilly it would have to get to break local records.

Turns out January 31, 1950 was the city’s coldest day on record with temperatures dropping to 0° at the end of a month that saw 50+ inches of snowfall (also a local record). The last time temps dropped into the single digits in Seattle was 1989 when we got down to 7°.

The past ten years have been balmy by comparison — we’ve only reached the teens three times over that time period: in 2013, 2021, and 2022.

But considering our average lows in January are ~36°, the latest outlook means it’s time to ditch the hoodie and break out the puffer.

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