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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Sure it’s cold, but it’s downright balmy compared to that Spokane winter of 1887-88

It’s cold, but it’s not that cold.

The thermometer sank to its the lowest point of 2018 on Monday morning at the Spokane International Airport when it read 8 degrees at 6 a.m.

That’s one degree off the low for the winter so far. That happened on Dec. 24 when the temperature dipped to 7 degrees.

That low is expected to fall Tuesday morning when the temperature is expected to dip to 5 degrees, said Jeremy Wolf, National Weather Service meteorologist in the Spokane office.

But these lows might as well be tropical compared to the low points of last winter. The last time it was colder than 5 degrees was minus-2 on Jan. 16, 2017. The coldest point of the season last winter was Dec. 16, 2016 when the temperature reached minus-7.

Including this winter, temperatures reached negative territory four of the last 10 winters, including a low of minus-18 in the winter of 2008-09.

Temperatures have fallen to zero or below in more than 70 percent of the 138 Spokane winters on record. The average coldest day each winter in Spokane is minus-5, according to the National Weather Service.

The lowest temperature of the century so far was in the winter of 2003-04, when it dipped to minus-22.

The lowest temperature of last century was minus-25 in the winter of 1968-69.

The lowest recorded temperature ever in Spokane?

Minus-30 in 1887-88.

That occurred during a seven-year streak of frigid winters that each had lows of minus-10 or lower starting in the winter of 1881-82.

But for those who complain about the cold, it’s still cold, especially compared to the warmest winter low ever measured in Spokane: 19-degrees in 1933-34.