Temps near record low in Concord, set new mark atop Mount Washington

  • Casey Head of Concord crosses Main Street in downtown Concord in Thursday’s bone-chilling temperatures. Elizabeth Frantz / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 12/28/2017 10:20:21 AM

The temperature in Concord was a bone-chilling minus 9 degrees Thursday morning, but it could have been a lot colder.

The record low for Concord is minus 20 degrees, set in 1914, according to the National Weather Service.

But even that deep freeze can be beat.

On the summit of Mount Washington early Thursday morning, the temperature hit minus 34 degrees, a new record for the day. With winds around 90 mph, that meant a wind chill that felt like minus 83 degrees.

Adam Gill of the Mount Washington Observatory said the previous record of minus 31 degrees was set in 1933. The observatory posted a video on Facebook showing him emptying a pitcher of boiling water into the air, where it immediately turned to snow in the cold and hurricane-force winds.

Bitter cold weather has taken hold of much of the northern United States, and wind chill advisories or warnings were in effect for much of New England.

Forecasters warned of hypothermia and frostbite from arctic air settling in over the central U.S. and spreading east.

Despite those concerns, Battalion Chief Sean Brown of the Concord fire department said the numbers of cold-weather calls for things like hypothermia, frostbite or frozen pipes have been slim.

“We haven’t seen a spike in those calls yet, but we’re still fairly early on in this cold-weather cycle,” he said.

Brown advised that people be cautious when using alternative heating devices, like space heaters, which can cause fires if placed too close to flammable materials, such as upholstery.

Director of Operations at the Concord SPCA Cathy Emerson said that they’ve seen a higher-than-average number of stray cats brought into the shelter during the last few days.

“This week has been cat after cat,” Emerson said. In the last three days, the Concord SPCA has taken in 10 stray cats, which is usually around what the shelter sees in a week’s time.

“All the stray cats that have been hanging around that people have been feeding all summer and fall are getting cold,” she said. “Everyone is panicking and bringing them in.”

If you are dreaming of warmer weather, beware that this arctic air is supposed to hang around into early next week with overnight temperature above zero by Wednesday.

But here’s a slightly warmer thought: The high temperature for this day in Concord was 58 degrees, set in 1949.

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