It’s Cold, and That’s All We’re Talking About!

2016-12-15 13:20:54.000 – Mike Carmon, Senior Weather Observer & Education Specialist


The coldest air mass of the young (meteorological) winter season is currently pouring into New England, and will continue to do so today through tonight. We’re expecting temperatures bottoming out around 30-35 below zero F during the wee hours of Friday morning.

We’re not strangers to these sorts of bitter temperatures on Mount Washington’s summit. However, over the last few winters, it’s generally late January or February before we experience this sort of polar air outbreak.

In December of 1998, 2000, and 2002, the monthly minimums all came in at -28F. Those are the last times we even approached temperatures this cold in December.

The last time we recorded temperatures at 30 below or colder this early in the season was way back in December of 1993, when a monthly minimum of -36F was recorded on the 27th of the month. That’s nearly 23 years ago!

It’s also a good time for a reminder that with all of these temperature numbers we report, we’re speaking strictly about ambient air temperature. Wind chill is an entirely separate and calculated value, not an intrinsic, measurable quantity. We will never express a wind chill temperature without clearly identifying it as such first.
Keep an eye on our website over the next 24 hours, as well as all of our social media outlets, for frequent updates on this cold snap!


Mike Carmon, Senior Weather Observer & Education Specialist

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