Siberian Express: Two of the coldest days on record chilled the Miami Valley to the bone 26 years ago

Two of the coldest days on record in Dayton history chilled the region 26 years ago.

Temperatures dropped to a bone-chilling minus 25 degrees on Jan. 18 and 19, 1994, according to the National Weather Service.

The only recorded day that was colder — records began in 1893 — was Feb. 13, 1899 when temperatures dropped to minus 28.

The frigid blast, dubbed the Siberian Express, was described as a one-two punch, first dumping 10 inches of snow and then taking temperatures to well below zero.

Schools and shops closed and shifts at the General Motors’ Moraine Truck Plant were canceled. Plumbers and tow trucks couldn’t keep up with requests for help. Sandy’s Towing reporting it had 500 calls within four hours.


The incredible cold snapped water and power lines and kept automobiles from moving due to frozen fuel lines and batteries.

“We’re selling anything that puts out heat and will start a car,” Dale Bundy, an employee at AutoZone told the Dayton Daily News.

Ten deaths in Ohio were blamed on the frigid temperatures including an infant living in a Dayton apartment without heat, believed to have died of hypothermia.

Crime dropped across the Miami Valley and Dayton Municipal Court saw half the usual arraignments, Judge Dan Gehres told the newspaper in 1994. “It’s so cold, people don’t want to fight.”

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