Mercury Dips to Record Lows in Midwest

From Times Wire Services

Record-breaking cold air chilled much of the nation’s midsection Wednesday, making it seem more like March than June in Chicago.

Record lows were set or tied in five cities. Casper, Wyo., had a low of 31 degrees, tying the 1969 mark. It was 50 in Kansas City, Mo., breaking the 1974 record of 52; 38 in Madison, Wis., breaking the 1903 record of 40; 40 in North Platte, Neb., tying the 1903 record; and 35 in Rapid City, S.D., one degree below the 1947 mark.

Mid-afternoon temperatures ranged from 46 at Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., to 107 at Needles, Calif.

Chicago’s low Tuesday was reached at 4 p.m., when the mercury dipped to 48 degrees, which would have been a seasonable afternoon reading for March 25, the weather service said. The average high in the city for June 11 is 79, but Wednesday the mercury struggled to reach the 50s.


“We’ve got a very cold air mass that has settled in over the Midwest,” said Steve Kahn, a Chicago meteorologist.

Thunderstorms extended from Illinois to New York and from New Mexico to Florida. Lightning killed two men, one in Kentucky and another in Virginia, and seriously injured a woman in Tennessee.

In McCandless, Pa., 12 miles north of Pittsburgh, high winds blew out 14 plate glass windows at a car dealership, police said.

Nearly 50 cars in the lot were damaged by flying glass, tree limbs and asphalt torn from the parking lot. There were no injuries. Some residents reported seeing a funnel cloud.


About 900 homes in McCandless lost power for about nine hours, said Joe Hrach, a spokesman for Pennsylvania Power Co.