(WGHP) – History was made at the Mount Washington Observatory Friday as strong stratospheric winds and arctic air descended across the Northeast.
The air temperature in Mount Washington, New Hampshire reached 45 degrees below zero, which is just a few degrees shy of the record at that site. However, wind gusts reached over 100 mph which made that -45 degrees feel much colder.
The observatory recorded a wind chill of -109 degrees Friday, making it the coldest wind chill ever recorded in the U.S. The previous record was -103 degrees.
Mount Washington is known as home to “the world’s worst weather” with its peak reaching a height of 6,288 feet.
The extreme cold was caused by an upper-level trough that dipped into the northeastern United States, bringing frigid air and strong blustery winds to millions in the region.
New Hampshire was not the only place to experience record temperatures this weekend. Dangerous arctic air gripped parts of the Northeast and New England into Saturday morning.
Several low-temperature records for February 4 were broken or tied across the Northeast. Albany, New York tied the previous record low of -13 degrees which were originally set in 1978.
Boston, Massachusetts shattered the previous record low with a temperature of -10 degrees Saturday morning. This broke the previous record of -2 degrees set in 1886.
Bridgeport, Connecticut broke its previous record low by nine degrees. They reached -4 degrees with the previous set of 5 degrees set in 1996.
New Hampshire Mountain Peaks were in the Stratosphere Friday night
Not only were records broken on February 3 and February 4 but, a rare phenomenon also occurred. Mount Washington and other peaks of the White Mountains in New Hampshire were in the stratosphere.
The stratosphere is the atmosphere layer above the troposphere, which is where the surface of Earth resides. The stratosphere is able to drop closer to Earth’s surface in certain situations with the help of extremely cold, arctic air.
Terry Eliasen, a meteorologist at WBZ in Boston, Massachusetts, explains the lowering of the stratosphere.
Coldest morning of the year in the Triad
While the Triad didn’t experience temperatures nearly as cold as those in the Northeast, we did observe our coldest temperatures of the year.
The Piedmont Triad International Airport observed a low temperature of 21 degrees Saturday morning. No records were broken but this is our coldest morning since the arctic air outbreak during Christmas.
For those who were hoping for an “early” spring, you’re in luck!
A warm-up is expected for the week ahead with high temperatures reaching the 60s by Wednesday.