DARKE COUNTY - Bitter cold temperatures, as low as negative 12 degrees on Monday, were thought to be cold enough to break records, but in 1999, on Jan. 6, it was minus 13 degrees. The coldest January day on record for Darke County was a low of 33 degrees below zero on Jan. 19, 1924, said a Greenville Water Plant employee.
It was forecast that with wind chills, temperatures could break records as well. Winds reached 29 miles per hour Monday and Tuesday, with gusts up to 39 miles per hour, making for a cold, windy couple of days that prohibited the icy roads from melting and creating hazardous road conditions in most parts of the county.
Records were set in Dayton on Monday with a low of minus 10 degrees below zero, according to the National Weather Service, and Dayton’s previous record low was also set Jan. 6, 1924 with a temperature of negative 8 degrees.
The cold, with the wind, ice and snow, didn’t seem to create too many problems for Darke County residents, Sam Custer, Ohio State University Extension agriculture and natural resources educator, reported, but he did see and hear that farmers with newborn livestock had taken the baby animals into their homes to dry off and warm up after birth, he said.
“Of course people had some frozen water lines, and all that comes with that…there were furnace issues, people’s heat just couldn’t keep up with the cold…” Custer noted. “I think everybody’s handling it, but I also think everybody’s tired of it already…When we get all this heavy ice, and they’re forecasting more rain this week, that just makes it that much more difficult out there.”
The National Weather Service advised that temperatures will be moderate the rest of this week, but will still remain 15 to 25 degrees below average for the upper Midwest. They are also forecasting a wintry mix this evening, with an 80 percent chance of rain on Friday and a 100 percent chance of rain on Saturday.
“We live in a county where the weather, particularly winter, is as unpredictable as the instant lottery tickets!” said one resident. “…It is just a way of life here in good ol’ Darke county, (it’s) the ‘cold’ truth that we must live with.”