When you think of the coldest place in the United States, you immediately think Alaska.
And for the most part, you’d be right.
With a mean average temperature around 26 degrees, Fairbanks, Alaska is the coldest city in the country. However, New Hampshire just found a way to etch its name into the record books.
At the top of Mount Washington, New Hampshire’s nearly 6,300 foot peak (the largest in the eastern half of the United States), windchills reached a record breaking -109 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mount Washington Observatory meteorologist Francis Tarasiewicz called the scene amazing, but frightening:
“It’s really an amazing day, an awe-inspiring day and 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.
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.
So, really just that cold and at those temperatures frostbite will set in less than one minute or so, really any wind chill below 80 degrees below.”
Imagine being in an observatory on the top of a mountain, in the blistering cold, with 100 mph winds blowing your doors open… I’d think it’s time to find a new job.
The temperature on Mount Washington dropped as low as -46 degrees on Friday night, with 97 mph winds, according to the National Weather Service.
For reference, that’s colder than the temperature on Mars right now…