Washington: Temperatures have reached dangerously low levels across the region after Arctic blast hit northeastern United States and parts of Canada.
Wind-chill warnings have been posted for nearly 16 million people living in New York and all six New England states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine.
Authorities near the border with Canada warned of “life-threatening blowing snow” , leading to blizzard conditions.
The National Weather Service (NWS) said the deep freeze would last a relatively short time, but the freezing cold winds would pose a life-threatening condition on Saturday. Schools in Boston and Worcester, two of Massachusetts’ largest cities in New England, were closed on Friday.
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu declared a state of emergency on Sunday and opened warming centers to help the city’s more than 650,000 residents. The NWS had warned that it was going to be the coldest of this generation.
The bitter cold forced the closure of a floating museum, which presents the 1773 Boston Tea Party. “It’s very cold, we’re closed,” a receptionist at the museum said Friday.
Weather service forecaster Bob Orevek said that early Friday, the Arctic surge flowing from eastern Canada to the United States was focused on the American plains.
The Kabetogama, Minnesota, Ontario border at 1 p.m. EST was the coldest place in the U.S. with temperatures of minus 39 F. (-39.5 C.). NWS meteorologist Brian Hurley said that cold, storm conditions spread eastwards during the day. The temperature of -40 occurs in decades.
Hurley said temperatures dropped to minus 45 F (-46 C) Friday evening at Mount Washington State Park, above the northeast’s highest peak. By comparison, air temperatures at Eureka, Canada’s northernmost Arctic weather station, were hovering at -41 F (-41 C) on Friday morning.
Boston was at 8 degrees Fahrenheit (-13 C) on Friday evening, while in Worcester, Massachusetts, 40 miles (64 km) west, with mercury reaching 3 F (-16 C), temperatures expected to be even lower.
Record cold is expected in both cities on Saturday. Forecasts are expected to go down to the low of -6F in Boston. This is higher than the record-2 F of 1886. Worcester is expected to hit a low of -11 on Saturday, breaking its previous 1934 record of 4.