Unseasonably, Unreasonably Cold

A brutal December kills 500 and ruins $500 million in crops

December is supposed to be cold, sure, but temperatures on the order of last week's record breakers (—52° in Wisdom, Mont.; —14° in Indianapolis; 0° in Atlanta) are unseasonably, unreasonably cold. Readings in the Central Plains have been 36° below normal. Not since record keeping began had there been December days so cold in Chicago (—25°), New Orleans (14°) and dozens of other places in the country's heartland. Nor did the vicious cold just blow in, flaunt its power briefly and leave....

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