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Weather station in northeastern US sets new record with -76ºC windchill

As a frigidly cold arctic air mass moves into Eastern Canada and the northeastern US, an area in New Hampshire has recorded what could be the coldest temperature ever recorded in the US.

On Friday, a weather station at the top of New Hampshire’s Mount Washington recorded a windchill that bounced between -76ºC (-105ºF) and -78ºC (-108ºF).

According to the hourly forecast, wind speeds were hitting between 168 kilometres per hour (105 mph) and 193 km/h (120 mph) overnight.

At about 4 am ET, the weather observatory recorded a freezing temperature of -47ºF (-43ºC) without the windchill.

The Mount Washington Observatory is a non-profit institution that was established to study the systems that create Earth’s weather and climate.

Mount Washington, which sits at 1,917 metres tall, is about a 300 km drive south of the border from Montreal.

The cold weather continues at the mountain's summit on Saturday and as of 10:30 am PT, the observatory is still recording -31ºC with a windchill of -56ºC.

In a statement, the observatory stresses the importance of taking these extremely low temperatures seriously.

“It will be very difficult to regenerate body heat in this cold of conditions, increasing the risk of hypothermia,” explains the statement.

“Frostbite will also develop on exposed skin extremely quickly in these, with the possibility that frostbite could develop in as little as under a minute.”

Much of New Hampshire and other northeastern US states remains under a windchill warning, which will be in effect until Sunday, Feb. 5.

The Mount Washington observatory is well known for its extreme weather and on April 12, 1934 crews recorded the world’s fastest surface wind speed ever observed: 231 mph (371 km/h).

Thumbnail photo credit courtesy of Mount Washington Conservatory


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