US Faces Record Wind Chill Factors So Cold It’s Literally Off The Charts | American News
Parts of the United States are experiencing a record wind chill factor that is so cold it is literally off the official National Weather Service maps.
The northeast of the country was hit by a powerful arctic explosion, with a temperature of New Hampshire‘s Mount Washington crashing to a new low of -46F (-43C).
But the wind chill temperature is how people actually feel the cold outdoors and depends on the strength and temperature of the winds.
High winds of 96 mph on Mount Washington produced a wind chill factor of -108F (-78C) – comfortably below the lowest point on the National Weather Service (NWS) wind chill chart, which sits at -98F (-72C).
“Worst weather in the world”
NWS declared Mt Washington the highest peak in the northeast WEwas “living up to the reputation of having the worst climate in the world”.
New Hampshire is one of several states with wind chill warnings, alongside Massachusetts, Connecticut, MaineRhode Island, Vermont, and much of new Yorkwhere a “Code Blue” alert for sub-zero temperatures has been issued.
Thousands of properties lost power and emergency shelters were opened.
While the freeze is expected to be relatively brief, people are being warned that the conditions are life-threatening, with schools closed in some towns due to the risk of children suffering from hypothermia and frostbite.
A weather expert said wind chill forecasts could cause frostbite on exposed skin in just 10 minutes.
Meteorologist Donald Dumont of the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine, said, “It’s painful.”
One of the cities hardest hit by the freeze is Boston, Massachusetts, where Mayor Michelle Wu has declared a state of emergency.
Record temperatures are forecast there for Saturday and in one of the state’s other towns, Worcester, where residents have already suffered lows of 3F (-16C) ahead of the weekend.
Boston’s record is -2F (-19C), set in 1886, and Worcester’s is -4F (-20C), which dates back to 1934.
“The citizens were disappointed”
The freezing conditions, which descend from the east Canadacome as the southern states recover from another winter storm that brought days of rain, sleet and ice.
In Texas, thousands of residents were still without power on Friday evening, even as conditions warmed. One of the state’s largest cities, Austin, has seen 30% of its customers without power at any time since Monday.
Mayor Kirk Watson admitted the city “has let its citizens down”.
“The situation is unacceptable to the community, and it is unacceptable to me,” the Democrat said.
One resident, Edward Kim, has had no electricity or heat since Wednesday. The 43-year-old revealed he used a generator to keep his house “on life support”.
Another local, Will Rison, said his elderly parents had also been without power for three days.
“You can only wrap yourself in so many blankets and wait,” he added.
Although no fatalities were reported following the outages, weather has been blamed for at least a dozen road deaths in Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma this week.