Frigid temperatures, some that could feel as cold as minus 30 degrees, moved across the East Coast on Friday as the region attempted to clean up from a massive winter storm. (Jan. 5)
How cold is the latest brutal blast of arctic air? In New Hampshire, the summit of the White Mountains registered minus 36 Saturday morning, with a wind chill of minus 94, tying for the second coldest place in the world.
The Mount Washington Observatory predicted the mountain’s 6,288 summit, which was pounded by 100 mph winds, could suffer wind chills near minus 100.
The observatory said on twitter that the summit hit its coldest temperature at 6 a.m., tying Armstrong, Ontario, for the second coldest place across the globe. Only a research station at Eureka, Nunavut in far northeast Canada bested them, with minus 40 and a windchill of minus 50.
Those were the extremes, of course, but the wild, winter weather was plenty cold throughout the northeast on Saturday and is not likely to break until next week.
On Saturday, wind chill warnings throughout the Northeast hit Burlington, Vt., with a temperature of minus 1 and a wind chill of minus 30. Both Philadelphia and New York hit 8 degrees, with wind chills of minus 11 in Philadelphia and minus 9 in New York.
Hartford, Conn., shivered under a brutal cold of 10 degrees and a wind chill of minus 20.
Worse, temps are expected to plunge overnight to zero over most of New England, and perhaps even down to 5 to 10 degrees into North Carolina.
The National Weather Service said subzero lows were possible as far south as interior parts of North Carolina. Wind chill warnings were in effect from northern Pennsylvania to Maine, where wind chills could reach colder than 20 below.
The new arctic blast is moving in as areas along the Massachusetts coast are still coping with the after effects of a “bomb cyclone” of winter weather — reaching hurricane-force levels in some areas — that pushed tides to record levels around Boston and left ice mounds in downtown streets.
In Duxbury, Mass., fire hydrants were locked in ice almost to the top while residents were forced to leave their seaside homes as the tides moved in, CBS Boston reports.
The frozen seawater was only the start for the region, as towns like Stoughton and Lincoln were digging out from at least 17 inches of snow.
Sub-zero temperatures turned the waves off the coast of Massachusetts into slush. Several surfers still ventured out to enjoy the swells.
In Gloucester, dozens of residents who left their cars at the local high school watched as the storm-driven tides swallowed them up, the Boston Heraldreports.
“The flooding happened in 6 minutes. People didn’t have time to get their car by the time they heard about it,” said Alisha Elwell, whose car was swamped by icy saltwater halfway up the windows. “There was a Honda Civic parked behind me. You couldn’t see it. It was just gone.”
As the new cold air pushes in from Canada, forecasters warn of freezing rain or drizzle in the Eastern states early next week, from the southern Appalachians and Piedmont areas to the Ohio Valley, central Appalachians and the upper mid-Atlantic coast.
That would bringing dangerous travel conditions to cities like Pittsburgh; Roanoke, Va., Charleston, W.V. Washington, D.C.; Baltimore; Philadelphia; and New York City.
Likewise, icy conditions were likely on untreated roads and sidewalks St. Louis, Chicago, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and as far south as Nashville.
Airline delays related to deicing activities and slippery runways are also possible at the major hubs in Chicago, Detroit and Cincinnati before the end of the weekend.
“While heavy precipitation is not anticipated by the storm at this time, it just takes a small amount of ice to make roads and sidewalks a skating rink,” according to AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams.
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