Mount Washington sees record-setting wind chill of more than 100 degrees below zero

The Weather Channel says this is “one of the coldest wind chills recorded anywhere in the United States”

Jenna Amatulli
Saturday 04 February 2023 14:43 GMT
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Mount Washington, New Hampshire, broke the record for one of the lowest wind chill ever recorded, seeing winds in the -100s.

On Friday and Saturday, the Mount Washington Observatory saw a combination of “extreme cold and strong winds” at its 6,288 foot peak that made it feel like it was -108 degrees Fahrenheit, according to The Weather Channel.

The organization says this is “one of the coldest wind chills recorded anywhere in the United States” and that the previous record was -102.7 degrees.

Mount Washington Observatory meteorologist Francis Tarasiewicz told local news WMUR9 that the record-setting wind chill was “awe-inspiring,” but “actually a bit of a frightening moment.”

“At one point, on one of our west-facing doors, the hinge that keeps it closed broke, the force of the winds were so strong. So, we had to do an emergency repair,” he said, adding that “on some of my observations, there have been tiny little gaps in my mittens and the spot that was uncovered to the wind felt like a bee stinging my arm continuously.”

He pointed out that at the current temperatures, “frostbite will set in less than one minute or so, really any wind chill below 80 degrees below.”

When you have frostbite, it means body tissues have become frozen and it can inflict permanent damage if it’s not treated promptly, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. They note that “amputation of a body part may be needed in the most severe cases” and that the most commonly affected body parts are the nose, ears, fingers, toes, cheeks, and chin.

The observatory is asking that hikers stay off trails on Saturday due to these conditions.

In a blog post shared by the observatory, they also noted that wind chill values remained at “100 below to 110 below Saturday morning” before highlighting how these conditions make it “very difficult to regenerate body heat,” which increases the risk of hypothermia.”

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