The Wind Chill Could Hit -110°F on Mount Washington This Weekend

The Wind Chill Could Hit -110°F on Mount Washington This Weekend

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An incoming Arctic air front will bring frigid temperatures to New England this weekend—but nowhere will feel the brunt of it as hard as Mount Washington, where the wind chill could hit an incredible -110° F and officials are warning hikers to stay off of its slopes.

According to Mount Washington Observatory, wind speeds on the summit averaged almost 100 mph and gusts reached 120 mph. The forecast overnight low for Friday was -47°F—which, if reached, would tie for the coldest temperature ever recorded there. According to the National Weather Service, the troposphere—the lowest level of Earth’s atmosphere—could even dip briefly below the summit of the mountain Friday, meaning that the observatory would temporarily be located in the stratosphere.

Francis Tarasiewicz, a weather observer at WCAX, Burlington, Vermont said that staff were enjoying the storm on the summit along with their cat Nimbus and bundled up against the cold.

“What I’m wearing is a basic undershirt and a flannel underneath, and on top of that, we’ll be wearing yet another undershirt and a shell,” Tarasiewicz told the news station. “And so, really just adding extra layers and also keeping in touch with each other to make sure no one goes outside alone.”

Often called “home of the world’s worst weather,” 6,288-foot Mt. Washington can be difficult and dangerous. In an average year, around 250,000 people reach the peak. Many of them make the 9- to 10-mile round trip. Mt. Washington can also prove deadly despite its accessibility and popularity. Since records began, more than 160 people have died in Washington. Many of these deaths were caused by exposure to fast-moving storms.

At a joint press conference, Chris Sununu (New Hampshire Governor) stated that messaging had been placed along the main route to Mt. Washington “to encourage our hiking community to try to curb their activities through the weekend as we see these extreme temperatures.”

Jay Broccolo was the director of weather operations for the Mount Washington Observatory. He warned hikers that even a slight mistake could quickly turn into a fatality.

“It has happened many times before above treeline,” Broccolo said. “It can really only take you taking a glove off, and within a minute your fingers are almost unable to move because your body has pulled the blood away from your fingers.” He went on to note that none of the buildings on the higher elevations on the mountain would be open for the public to take shelter from the storm this weekend, and even rescue crews would have difficulty reaching stricken hikers who ignored warnings.

Forecasts call for temperatures to remain in the negatives through Saturday, before—at least temporarily—rising above 0°F on Sunday.

The Wind Chill Could Hit -110°F on Mount Washington This Weekend

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