This month in 2014, Illinois had a record breaking snow storm. A winter storm in early January produced as much as 14 inches of snow in some parts of the state, stranding travelers and extending holiday breaks for many Illinois students.

On Jan. 4 and 5, a winter storm system swept the central and eastern U.S., covering over half the country with snow. Illinois felt the chill—snow, sleet and brutal winds closed schools, damaged power lines, cancelled flights and endangered drivers across the state.

Although Central and Southeast Illinois experienced the heaviest snowfall, the storm brought Chicago nearly 9 inches of snow on Jan. 5, setting a new calendar day record for the city. O’Hare Airport saw 11.7 inches of snow during the same period, the largest snowfall there since 2011.

The National Weather Service advised residents to remain in their homes to avoid the bitter cold and harsh winds. Many parts of the state saw temperatures as low as 15 degrees below zero, setting records in Charleston, Decatur, Effingham, Galesburg, Normal and Urbana. Wind chills reached a record-breaking 44 below zero in Bloomington.

But that storm was only the beginning of a remarkably frigid season—in 2014, Illinois went on to experience one of its coldest and snowiest winters on record. For Chicago, January 2014 brought 33.5 inches of snow, making it the third snowiest month in the city’s history. Freezing temperatures continued well into April in central and southeast Illinois.

Stay cool, Illinois—but maybe don’t take it so literally this year.

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