As an Arctic air mass moved over the region on Saturday, it brought with it strong winds that caused wind chills to reach deadly levels. As a result, residents of the northeastern United States had to contend with the coldest temperatures in decades.
Boston and Providence, Rhode Island, had lows of 10 and minus 9 degrees Fahrenheit early on Saturday, shattering records that had been in place for more than a century.
Boston and Providence, Rhode Island, had lows of – 10 and minus 9 degrees Fahrenheit early on Saturday, shattering records that had been in place for more than a century. The wind made it seem considerably colder everywhere as temperatures dropped to 4 degrees in New York City, minus 6 in Hartford, Connecticut, and minus 15 in Concord, New Hampshire.
The weather system was blamed for at least one fatality. On Friday, a tree toppled near Southwick, Massachusetts, west of Springfield, crushing a car and killing a child inside. The victim’s aunt, the 23-year-old driver, was seriously hurt, according to a statement from the Hampden County district attorney’s office.
The low temperature of minus 47 degrees at 4 a.m. on Saturday equaled the previous record set in 1934 at the summit of Mount Washington in New Hampshire, the highest point in the area. Although employees at the meteorological observatory atop the 6,288-foot mountain claimed they do not preserve long-term wind chill data and were unable to confirm the record, wind chills neared minus 110 degrees and were certainly among the lowest ever recorded.
By late Saturday, the weather had begun to improve, and Sunday was supposed to bring an end to the bitter cold. Government representatives created warming shelters in the interim, issued advisories about hypothermia and frostbite, and asked citizens to stay indoors. According to the website poweroutage.us, 18,000 consumers were without power on Saturday morning in Maine and New York state. All but 5,000 people got electricity back by the afternoon.
Cold wave_While a Code Blue was in force in New York, indicating that no one seeking shelter would be turned away, Boston’s mayor, Michelle Wu, issued a cold emergency that would last until Sunday.
The meteorological service in Caribou, Maine, reported receiving reports of “frostquakes” on Friday. Frostquakes are ground vibrations that resemble earthquakes but are instead brought on by abrupt fissures in frozen soil.