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Tribune News Service
Tribune News Service
Jessica Schladebeck and Joseph Wilkinson

NYC blasted with below-zero wind chills, record-setting cold as arctic air mass sweeps across Northeast

NEW YORK — New Yorkers hunkered down and hid from the cold for a second straight day Saturday as temperatures across the city dipped to the single digits.

More than 20 million people in New York and across the Northeast continued to endure what meteorologists called a brief though potentially life-threatening blast of cold — and on a New Hampshire mountaintop, observers experienced the worst wind chill ever recorded.

“The core of an arctic air mass will be over the area early Saturday morning, with low temperatures in the single digits for New York City and immediate suburbs, with wind chills 10 to 15 below,” the National Weather Service said Saturday.

Lows in New York on Saturday evening were expected to range from the low teens to mid 20s — and temperatures were expected to rise thereafter.

Temperatures at Kennedy Airport in Queens dropped to a frigid 4 degrees Fahrenheit Saturday morning, breaking a record for the same date in 1996, according to the NWS. Newark Airport and LaGuardia Airport in Queens similarly hit a record low of 5 degrees, and in Central Park, it was as chilly as 3 degrees around 7 a.m., the agency said.

Wind chill warnings and advisories were also issued for all of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut, and they remained in effect through Saturday morning.

Parts of northern Maine faced the harshest conditions and thousands of residents were placed under blizzard warnings. Temperatures in parts of the state experienced wind chills as cold as 60 degrees below zero on Friday, the NWS said.

In northern New Hampshire, weather observers atop 6,288-foot high Mount Washington recorded a wind chill of minus 108 degrees, the coldest ever recorded anywhere.

Without the wind, the temperature atop Mount Washington was minus 47 degrees, tying a record set in 1934. Wind gusts on the summit were recorded at 127 mph.

The frigid weather was triggered by a large, low-pressure system that ripped across eastern Canada and pushed the freezing air southward. The NWS said it brought about “some of the coldest air of the season” so far.

The same system will draw milder air north as it moves across the region, which will allow temperatures to rebound fairly quickly, forecasters noted.

Sunday’s highs will be in the 40s, meteorologists predicted, though the experts also said rain would likely come along with the warmer air.


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