Due to the arctic air, the northeastern United States registered dangerous subzero temperatures and record wind chills of minus 78 degrees Celsius (108 Fahrenheit) on Saturday at the summit of Mount Washington in New Hampshire.
Temperatures dropped so low that authorities in Massachusetts took the unusual step of keeping the South Station transportation hub open overnight so the homeless would have a safe place to sleep.
Several cities in the Northeast have equaled or had new record drops in temperatures and due to high winds a tree limb fell on a vehicle and killed a baby in western Massachusetts.
“I don’t remember cold like this, not since 2015,” said Gin Koo, 36, wearing three shirts and a puffer jacket, as well as a hood and cap, as he walked with his Boston terrier, Bee, in Boston, Saturday morning. Even Bee, who was wearing a pet jacket, was shivering in the cold. “I wouldn’t go out if I didn’t have to.”
Paul Butler, 45, who has lived on the street since he was kicked out in December 2021, sought shelter in South Station.
“This is the coldest I can remember, and I worked at the doors of many nightclubs for 15 years,” said the former Marine.
Arctic air hit the region just as rapid cyclogenesis was taking place in Labrador and Newfoundland, causing strong winds, National Weather Service expert Donald Dumont said Friday in Gray, Maine, explaining the sharp drop in temperature.
A cyclogenesis refers to an intensification of a cyclone or low pressure storm system.
The Mount Washington Observatory, located atop the highest mountain in the Northeast, famous for its extreme weather conditions, also recorded a temperature of minus 44 degrees Celsius (-47 F), which matched the record at the 1934 location and a wind gust of 204 kilometers per hour (127 mph).
Elsewhere in the region, the wind chill — the combined effect of wind and cold air on exposed skin — was between minus 43 and minus 45 degrees Celsius (between minus 45 and 50 F), according to the National Weather Service.
The current method for measuring wind chill has been used since 2001.
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