While Boston looks forward to a warm Labor Day weekend, with temperatures in the low to mid-70s, Mount Washington is experiencing “full-blown winter conditions” Friday, according to a statement from Mount Washington Observatory meteorologist Tom Padham.
The mountain summit saw freezing temperatures and its first snowfall of the season early Friday, a “trace” amount totaling less than one-tenth of an inch on the ground, Mount Washington Observatory director of education Brian Fitzgerald said.
Mount Washington, known for its unseasonal and intense weather conditions, also nearly broke its record low Sept. 1 temperature Friday. That low of 24 degrees, set in 1970, was nearly matched when temperatures at the summit dipped to 25 degrees in the morning.
“We just missed tying it,” Fitzgerald said. “We’re in excess of 20 degrees colder than normal.”
“By far the coldest day so far of the new season,” he said; the observatory tracks seasons running from July to June.
Winds on the mountain’s summit were also strong Friday, reaching peak speeds of 85 miles per hour. That, combined with the low temperature, resulted in a wind chill of 3 degrees through the morning.
Temperatures in nearby Berlin, N.H., Friday morning ranged from the high 40s to low 50s.
The wintery conditions also included a blanketing of freezing fog, causing a “visibility of zero” at the summit, Fitzgerald said, and icy accumulations across the surface of the mountain.
“We are accumulating a combination of rime and glaze ice,” he said. “It transitioned very quickly from some damp rocks to some icy rocks and a coating of ice on almost every surface.”
Fitzgerald said conditions at New England’s highest point would see “a brief return to summer conditions next week” but said Friday’s mini-winter could signal more cold weather coming soon.
“It’s unusual today, but not out of the norm climate-wise,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s our second frost of this newer winter season and is perhaps a sign of things to come rather soon.”