Arctic chill brings record low temperatures to the Northeast : NPR
Robert F. Bukaty/AP
Arctic cold is sweeping the northeastern United States, with wind gusts whipping up frigid temperatures not seen in decades.
In New Hampshire, the top of Mount Washington on Friday night hit minus 46 degrees Fahrenheit, the lowest temperature ever recorded at the station on the state’s highest mountain – known for its extreme weather – from 1934, a year after the recordings began, according to the National Weather Service.
Mount Washington’s summit windchill — how cold the temperature feels — recorded an an all-time record low of minus 108 degrees, the NWS said. The reading was so extreme, the agency saidwhich created errors in its software.
Several large cities set daily record lows on Saturday, according to the NWS, across New York, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
The cold was caused by a portion of the polar vortex – a wide swath of frozen air – above the North Pole that traveled south from Canada to New England, said Francis Tarasiewicz, a meteorologist at the Observatory of ‘ Mount Washington.
A blizzard warning remains in effect for parts of Maine. Western parts of the state and northern New Hampshire could see dangerous wind chills, as low as 45 degrees, early Sunday.
The NWS warned of the threats of frost and hypothermia; skin exposed to freezing weather can become frostbitten or frozen in as little as 10 minutes.
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In Boston, the warming centers opened Friday night. Homeless service workers there are doing additional outreach to bring homeless people inside. John Lanham, who oversees two shelters in the greater Boston area, says no one seeking shelter from the cold there will be turned away.
Officials have been curtailing skiing and other snow sports events due to the harsh conditions. After the wind at Whiteface Mountain in New York dropped to minus 71 degrees, the Empire State Winter Games in Lake Placid postponed two events and canceled six events entirely to keep athletes safe.
The short time in the Arctic has already started to decrease on Saturday, with warmer temperatures expected on Sunday.
North Country Public Radio reporter Emily Russell, WAER reporter Geoffrey Goose and GBH reporter Mark Herz contributed to this report.