The burst of Arctic air that enveloped the Northeast on Saturday included a record-setting wind chill of minus 108 degrees Fahrenheit at the summit of Mount Washington in New Hampshire.
The observatory at the peak of the Northeast’s highest mountain also recorded an actual temperature of minus 47 Fahrenheit -- or minus 44 Celsius, tying a record set in 1934, The Associated Press reported. A wind gust of 127 mph -- equal to a Category 3 hurricane -- was also recorded.
“It’s a strange mixture of terrifying and exhilarating being up here on the summit,” Francis Tarasiewicz, a meteorologist who was at the observatory station at Mount Washington’s summit, told WTMW-TV.
Mount Washington, New Hampshire, has experienced the most extreme weather on planet Earth today.— Colin McCarthy (@US_Stormwatch) February 4, 2023
Wind chills have dipped as low as -109°F, which is cold enough to give someone frostbite in about 1 minute. pic.twitter.com/nCSteVH6MZ
Tarasiewicz confirmed to the television station that the official low temperature at the observatory was minus-47 degrees Fahrenheit, with an unofficial wind chill of minus 109 degrees. The National Weather Service pegged the wind chill at minus 108.
The previous wind chill record was minus 105, set in Alaska, CNN reported. The previous low at Mount Washington was minus 102.7 in 2004, according to the cable news outlet.
Based on records at the observatory, the wind chill also could have been at minus 108 or below on Jan. 22, 1885, USA Today reported.
The low that day was minus 50 Fahrenheit, which remains the record temperature at the observatory, Brian Brettschneider, an Alaskan climate scientist, told the newspaper. With an average speed of 89 mph, a wind chill below minus 108 degrees was possible, Brettschneider said.
Mount Washington, which rises to 6,288 feet above sea level, is located in the Presidential Range of the White Mountains.
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