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Mount Washington Records Lowest Wind Chill Ever: -108°F

This weekend, it was colder in New Hampshire than at the South Pole.

On Saturday, amid the dangerous “Arctic Freeze” that swept across New England, the weather observatory atop New Hampshire’s 6,288-foot Mount Washington recorded its lowest-ever wind chill: -108°F. That’s an air temperature of -46°F with 127-mile-per-hour gusts. (For comparison, the South Pole is currently experiencing lows around -25°F.) 

Mt. Washington is known for having some of the worst weather in America. The peak, located within New Hampshire’s White Mountains, consistently clocks hurricane-force winds, extreme cold, and blizzards that lash the mountain with snow and sleet. That’s thanks to a combination of maritime winds and the mountain’s position right at the center of three storm tracks, which hit the peak from all directions. 

Of course, this weekend’s weather was even worse than Mt. Washington is used to. The mountain’s previous wind chill record, -103°F, was set in 2004. 

Image by Jose Azel

While the observatory scientists may have been celebrating, the rest of New England certainly wasn’t. The Arctic Freeze was so severe that it forced some of the region’s best ski areas to close for fear of putting customers or staff at risk of frostbite. In downtown Boston, temperatures dropped as low as -10°F.

The conditions posed a serious safety hazard for winter motorists, outdoor workers, and Boston’s unhoused population. Many residents stayed indoors. However, the weather didn’t stop the well-equipped from getting outside. For the first time this winter, pick-up hockey games sprouted up on some of Boston’s city ponds. 

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