Commuters had to deal with record cold on Tuesday morning in Lexington.
Between 7 and 8 a.m., the temperature hovered at 12 degrees, matching the record for the date, set in 1959. About the same time, a westerly wind of 10 mph dropped the wind chill to 1 degree below zero, according to readings at Blue Grass Airport by the National Weather Service.
The last time it was this cold in November was Nov. 30, 1976, WKYT-TV chief meteorologist Chris Bailey said. And "that's two weeks deeper into the season."
Bailey said that to him, the current cold snap is more impressive than the shots of arctic cold in January and February because this weather has arrived so early.
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He said highs Tuesday would reach only to the low 20s, more than 30 degrees below normal for this time of year. The lowest high temperature on record for Nov. 18 is 24 degrees. at 10:15 a.m., the temperature was 15 degrees.
The state Transportation Cabinet said road crews were to report to work in Central Kentucky at 5 a.m. Tuesday to patrol and treat roads as necessary.
The cabinet also noted that Kentucky SAFE Patrol — Safety Assistance for Freeway Emergencies — was available seven days a week to help motorists stranded on interstates and parkways get back on the road. To request their help, call 1-877-367-5982.
The front that ushered in these arctic temperatures also gave some students their first snow day Monday.
Lexington got about an inch of snow, but some parts of Central Kentucky got more. Parts of Scott and Franklin counties got 4 inches, Bailey said.
He said 50 percent of the country had snow on the ground Monday, the highest rate ever recorded for that date.
While temperatures will warm up to nearly 60 degrees by the weekend, Bailey said it would be only temporary.
"I will be surprised if we don't have at least one more snow before November is over," he said.