There’s a lot of things to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, and one of them might be that you’re not at the summit of Mount Washington in New Hampshire, which registered dangerously cold temperatures Thursday morning.
Weather observers at the top of the 6,288-foot mountain recorded temperatures of -26 degrees early in the morning with the windchill factor from hurricane force winds making it feel like a brisk -75 degrees. The bone-chilling temperatures are record lows for the month of November at the summit, said Taylor Regan, a weather observer and research specialist for the observatory.
The previous record low for Nov. 22 was -11 degrees, set in 1987, and the previous record for any day in November was -20 degrees, which was set in 1958. The observatory started keeping temperature records in 1933, according to its website.
“We knew it was going to be very cold,” Regan said. “Twenty-six below is extremely low for this time of year. It’s pretty unusual, especially in our 86-year history, to shatter a record by 15 degrees. It’s pretty crazy.”
The windchill at the summit was low enough to cause frostbite on exposed skin within minutes, according to a 4:31 a.m report from weather observer Adam Gill.
Wind gusts were as strong as 90 miles per hour around 2:30 p.m. and were expected to exceed 100 miles per hour later in the afternoon, Regan said. The record wind speed at the summit for November is 163 miles per hour.
There was no snow falling at the observatory Thursday morning, although the summit has gotten significantly more snow than is normal for November: 44 inches of snowfall this month, which is 6 inches more than the month’s average total snowfall, and there’s still about a week left to go, Regan said.
The fog surrounding the observatory Thursday should dissipate by Friday, before more snow rolls in, Regan said.
“Tomorrow we should be in the clear, which should be a nice change for us,” she said.
Record-low temperatures were also set in other parts of New England Thursday morning. It was 7 degrees in Worcester before 9 a.m., breaking the city’s previous record low of 11 degrees for Nov. 22, set in 1987, according to the National Weather Service.
Hartford and Providence also set new record lows for Nov. 22, with temperatures of 11 degrees and 15 degrees respectively, according to the weather service.