MURRAY — Murray set a new record low temperature on Tuesday, Feb. 16.
Murray’s Justin Holland, an official government observer for the National Weather Service Office in Paducah, said that he recorded a low of -3 degrees. This broke the previous record of 1 degree that was established in 1958.
“I was pretty surprised by that,” Holland said of how Tuesday’s reading was about 10 degrees lower than previously predicted. That is because the skies cleared in the wake of Monday’s storm that left Murray and Calloway County covered in between 5 and 7 inches of snow.
“It was supposed to have been more cloudy,” he said. “With the snowfall, it’s always going to be colder if it’s a clear, starry night because that snow tends to keep the cold locked in.”
Those factors led to a rather interesting situation Tuesday morning, he said.
“Calloway County was the second-coldest in Kentucky,” Holland said. “Graves was No. 1. We were at -3 and they were at -3.2. You have to remember that the storm track from (Monday) actually went below us, meaning that the warm pocket swung a little farther to the east and north of us, meaning places like the eastern mountains, which are usually colder, were actually warmer than we were.”
With clear skies forecast for Tuesday into the early-morning hours of today, Holland said Murray and Calloway County residents will once again be awakening to potentially record low temperatures. The high today, though, is expected to moderate to 27 degrees.
However, this warm-up will come in advance of yet another winter storm that is expected to resemble the one that struck Sunday and Monday. It will come in two parts with the first punch starting a little after sunrise and lasting through mid day. The second half will arrive after sunset and continue into Thursday morning.
At this time, Holland said this storm is expected to leave another 1 to 4 inches of snow.
“But people can’t get caught up in that,” he said, going back to Monday when that storm pulled a few surprises. First, it started with sleet, then an unexpected dry pocket appeared to end the storm prematurely that afternoon.
Then, it developed another snow band that produced another 2 to 3 inches before ending after nightfall.
“What is being expected with the first wave is fairly light, maybe an inch. With the second wave, that should be a little heavier, probably somewhere between 1 and 3 inches, so we are going to have another coating on our roads it seems,” he said, giving a bit of good news for anyone hoping for something a little less wintry.
“If we can make it to the weekend, we should start improving, but we’ve got a few more days of this first.”
Holland also said he wanted to tell residents to be extra careful if thinking about venturing on ice-covered ponds or lakes. He said a tragic development earlier this week near Memphis, Tennessee serves as a reminder.
“A 10-year-old boy was playing on an ice-covered pond, fell through and died and his sister also fell through and she is fighting for her life right now,” he said. “You know, we may have people that might want to try and skate or do other things on ice, but you can’t do that here. In places like the Great Lakes and other places up north, they have the kind of cold we’re having for weeks and months at a time. We usually only have it for a few days here.”