Cold truth: It’s warmer in the Arctic Circle than in Boston right now
Apologies to those already feeling bitter about this frigid weather, but here’s another cold truth — it’s chillier in Boston Thursday than in a handful of cities around the planet that are much farther north and usually much colder.
At Logan International Airport in Boston, the temperature hovered in the single digits for much of Thursday morning, falling as low as 5 degrees around 8 a.m.
Meanwhile, low temperatures recorded this morning in the Russian cities of Moscow and Saint Petersburg were 36 degrees and 38 degrees, respectively, according to figures provided by AccuWeather.com. Normally, those cities experience lows of 10 and 15 degrees.
In Reykjavík, Iceland, the mercury fell no lower than 25 degrees, not far off from its normal low of 29 degrees.
In Tromsø, Norway, which is located within the Arctic Circle, the low this morning was 19 degrees. Normally, it’s 21 degrees.
And, in Barrow, the northernmost city in Alaska (and in the entire United States, for that matter), the temperature was 12 degrees as of about 9 a.m. our time, according to AccuWeather. That’s well above its typical low of -16.
But before you book a flight to Barrow, you’ll want to consider that the city is in the midst of about a two-month stretch in which there is no daylight.
So what city feels most like Boston right now? Anchorage, Alaska. It was about 6 degrees there as of 9 a.m., about the same as Boston and below Anchorage’s normal low temperature of 12 degrees for this time of year.
Evan Duffey, a meteorologist for AccuWeather, said it’s not unusual for there to be points in the year where cold air from around the North Pole dips down to southern latitudes.
Typically, that cold air is pushed south when high pressure builds on the pole.
“It’s [like] someone opened a door to the North Pole and said, ‘You can go on vacation,’ and the cold air heads south,” Duffey said.
Generally, though, there’s a balancing effect. So, if it’s colder than usual in one area of the world — like it is now in Boston — it’s probably warmer than normal in another area, he said.
“In some parts of the world there’s warm air surging north and some parts where the cold air is surging south,” Duffey said. “It pretty much balances out.”