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Mount Washington sets national windchill record of 108 degrees below zero

Mount Washington observers likely new wind chill record
Mount Washington observers likely new wind chill record 00:20

A life-threatening cold spell began to ease its grip on the northeastern United States on Saturday, but only after a new national windchill record was set in New Hampshire.

The record was set at Mount Washington Friday night when it felt like minus 108° F thanks to a temperature of minus 46° F and wind gusts of 127 mph.

Wind chill records are not historically tracked as closely as temperature records, but the mark would beat what most meteorologists believe to be the US record (minus 105° F in Alaska). The prior record for Mount Washington was minus 102.7° F in 2004.

WBZ-TV meteorologist Jacob Wycoff on Friday spoke with Francis Tarasiewicz, a researcher for the non-profit Mt. Washington Observatory. He is part of the team that maintains the nearly 90-year-old data record and described the conditions Friday as "surreal". 

"This almost feels dream-like," he said.

The nightmare should be fleeting though, as by Sunday the summit should be a balmy 20° F.

Elsewhere in New Hampshire, where the coldest winds could feel as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit below zero, Cannon Mountain Ski Resort in Franconia and Wildcat Mountain in Gorham have closed due to the severe cold, according to their Facebook pages.

Similarly, several ski areas turned away customers and shut down operations in Vermont on Friday.

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