No doubt about it, Detroiters know cold. We've already had wind chills down below zero this season and there is still a lot of winter left. And while actual air temperatures have remain above zero so far, we're no strangers to dangerous, sub-zero temperatures.
But there's cold and then there's COLD!
NASA recently confirmed a new all-time record low temperature worldwide, a breathtaking 135.8 degree below zero. That all time record was set August 10, 2010 at the bottom of the world in Antarctica. And that's no fluke! Just this July (summer here, winter there) temperatures bottomed out at 135.3 degrees below zero!
Both of these temperatures are break the previous cold temperature record, a balmy 128.6 degrees, set back in 1983 at the Russian Vostok Research Station in East Antarctica
These readings were done by NASA/US Geological Survey's Landsat 8 satellite. Researchers analyzed 32 years of data, mapping Antarctica's surface temperature. They found the coldest temperatures were along a 13,000 foot ridge on the East Antarctic Plateau. Clear skies allows what little "heat" there is at the top of this ridge to radiate out into space. This creates a super-chilled layer of air just above the ground. Gravity pulls the extremely cold and dense air here into mini valleys. where it collects and continues to cool.
The center of Antarctica, where these readings were measured, is almost too cold for human habitation. But humans can live in awfully inhospitable places! The coldest permanently inhabited place on Earth are the towns Verkhoyansk and Oimekon in Siberia. Temperatures here have been recorded at a jaw-dropping 90 degrees below zero Fahrenheit.
The record low in Detroit is 21 degrees below zero, set on January 21, 1984.
So, yes. It does get cold here in SE Michigan - even frigid, But if someone ever says to you, "Man! It's feels like Antarctica out there!", you can tell them " not quite!"