HomeOutdoorsWeatherLowest Temperature Ever Recorded in the US Revealed: VIDEO

Lowest Temperature Ever Recorded in the US Revealed: VIDEO

by Emily Morgan
Lowest Temperature Ever Recorded US Revealed
Photo by: Scott Olson / Staff

On Friday evening, extremely frigid weather dropped temperatures to record-breaking lows in the Northeast. At the summit of New Hampshire’s Mount Washington, the wind chill (what the temperature feels like) plunged to minus 108 F. The previous record for wind chill was reported as minus 102.7.

According to Brian Brettschneider, an Alaskan climate scientist, that frostbite-inducing temperature is likely the lowest wind chill ever recorded since meteorologists in the U.S. began studying wind chills.

Perched in the White Mountains of the northern part of the state at 6,288 feet, the Mount Washington Observatory endured a combination of extreme cold and intense winds from a blast of arctic air. Check out the video below to see the observatory get absolutely rocked by mother nature’s bitter-cold wrath.

As for temperature, the National Weather Service reported it dropped as low as minus 46 degrees F on Friday night, with 97 mph winds on the mountain. Visibility at the summit was less than one-sixteenth of a mile, or just over 100 yards.

Additionally, residents in Boston, Massachusetts, saw record daily lows. There, forecasters reported temperatures of minus 8 F. In Providence, Rhode Island, temperatures plunged to minus 4 F, and in Bridgeport, Connecticut, people bundled up to deal with temperatures of 2 F.

Meanwhile, the agency also reported an intense wind chill of minus 62 F on Cadillac Mountain in Maine’s Acadia National Park. In addition, officials said wind chills ranged from minus 31 F to minus 61 F across at least five counties in Maine.

In New Hampshire, officials also reported wind chills fell below minus 32 F across much of the state.

Temperatures plunge across the northeast, officials warn about the dangers of hypothermia, frostbite

Calculating wind chill is crucial because it helps people understand just how dangerous it can be if someone is exposed. As air temperature gets colder and the wind speeds increase, it will feel much colder on the skin.

According to observatory officials, this weather is deadly serious.

“I want to emphasize the danger of this cold,” wrote Mount Washington weather observer Alexis George. “In these brutally cold conditions, the risk of hypothermia and frostbite will be exponential.

She added: “These frigid cold conditions will quickly rob you of body heat, with the possibility that frostbite could develop on exposed skin in under a minute. Even small mistakes can prove deadly, with a simple slip or fogged goggles leading to a potentially life-threatening situation. In this type of weather, rescue services will have a difficult time responding to any emergency effectively.”

Wind chill was first studied by Paul Siple and Charles Passel, two Antarctica explorers and polar scientists in the 1940s. They based the concept on how long it took a ship in near-freezing water to freeze under certain conditions.

Then, in 2001, scientists changed the wind chill scale after performing tests on volunteers placed into a chilled wind tunnel.