Records were broken this morning, as in the coldest Jan. 7 on record. I can’t help but remember the last cold Farm Show in 1994. Why 1994? That was the year I was an alternate county dairy princess and volunteered to help at the show.
There were a couple of things I remember about that day. One, my dad volunteered to take the county dairy princess and I down for the day. Because it was so cold, my parents decided that it would be best if he drove. Mom stayed behind and helped my grandfather keep the dairy going.
Second, the walk across the main Farm Show parking lot was a long one, because we were parked more than halfway out the lot. Back when I served as a princess, dresses and skirts were mandated wear. However, this was one of the rare times that dress pants were allowed.
Yet, people still came, despite the weather to see the latest in ag technologies and attend meetings.
While everyone is chatting about the extreme cold being “Farm Show weather,” the last time it was truly this cold was 20 years ago. Most of the time, Farm Show is quiet and uneventful weatherwise. Yet, like that frozen ’94 year, it is those extreme weather events that we remember.
According to the National Weather Service, here are some of those more “famous” highlights.
Famous Farm Show snowstorms: 19.8 inches on Jan. 7, 1996, and 14 inches on Jan. 13, 1964. The ’96 storm set up for the flooding that hit the Farm Show Complex and the Susquehanna River a week later, when a rapid melt and rainstorm pushed the river from its banks.
The most recent significant snowfall was 3.9 inches on Jan. 11, 2011.
Most years, temperatures stay in the 30s and 40s, typical for January. The warmest Farm Show day was a high of 66 on Jan. 13, 1972. Coldest day, a high of 9 and a low of minus 6 were recorded on Jan. 23, 1936.
Check out the stats from the National Weather Service visit here.
For a year-by-year summary, visit here.
-- Charlene Shupp Espenshade, special sections editor