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      Arctic Air Makes a Return Performance: Jan 21, 1984

      It hit 24 below zero at the National Weather Service (NWS) site near Negaunee on January 21, 1984. The high that day was only 2 above. The bitter cold made a return engagement after leaving at the beginning of the year. Some of the coldest air on record plagued Upper Peninsula shoppers and holiday revelers just before and during the Christmas season in 1983. It hit a record-shattering 28 below zero at the NWS on December 20, 1983. Temperatures went below zero on 12 of 15 days to close the month.

      January 1984 featured 14 days below zero with a mean temperature over three degrees below average. When February began, the temperature went above freezing. It was a foreshadowing of what the rest of the month would bring. By the second week of February, temperatures went well above average and stayed there. Between the 8th and 23rd, there were 15 days above freezing, with a maximum of 57 degrees on February 22nd. A rainstorm occurred on February 12-13. The month ended 11 degrees above normal. Winter wasnâ??t over though; it made a huge comeback in March with subzero cold the first half and then a monster U.P.-wide snowstorm during the third week of the month.

      Our cold has been with us, with relatively short breaks, since early December. The cold thatâ??s settled in now will stay with us, moderate briefly, and then deepen into early next week. Here are some lows from across the U.P. this morning:

      NWS near Negaunee: -7

      Iron Mountain : -13

      Daggett: -15

      Peavey Falls : -20

      Rudyard: -22

      This will go down as the coldest winter in years, but sooner or later it must ease. Will February turn into a 1984 redux? The chances of such an huge swing are small. However, keeping in mind Upper Michiganâ??s widely varying weather extremes, a flip like that is not of the question.