Coldest Day Ever in D.C. at -15 Degrees

February 11th, 1899
February 11th, 1899

You think that it’s cold now? Try living in D.C. back on February 11th, 1899. Thanks to GoDCer Brian, we decided to look into other times when it was freezing here, and we found quite a few where it was substantially worse that what we’re experiencing today.

Below is an article that we found in The Evening Times printed on February 11th, 1899. That day saw the coldest recorded temperature ever in Washington at 15 degrees below zero. Quit your whining … now that is f*cking cold!

It was colder in Washington last night than ever before since the establishment of the Weather Bureau. That is, it was colder than at any other time since 1870.

The minimum temperature recorded last night was 15 degrees below zero. This temperature was registered by the thermometer on the roof of the Weather Bureau building. It was probably three or five degrees colder in the streets in the low parts of the city.

The lowest temperature previously recorded in this city was on the night of December 31, 1880, when the mercury indicated 13 degrees below zero and on the morning of January 1, 1881, when the temperature was recorded at 14 degrees below.

There is no prospect of a thaw. The indications are that there may be a slight rise in the temperature, but it will be but a temporary rally.

Still think it’s cold now? This report is absolutely awful. I’m glad we’re not even close to that.

Stay warm!

About Tom

Tom founded Ghosts of DC on January 4th, 2012 as a blog to uncover the lost and untold history of Washington, D.C. He has lived in the city for over a decade and loves exploring every corner of the District.

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  • Sheila Gilbert

    Now THAT is cold! No thank you!