Boston breaks cold record as Arctic air sweeps Northeast
Friday, December 16, 2016, 11:27 - A blast of Arctic air hammered the northeastern United States on Friday, bringing Boston the coldest temperatures for this day in more than a century, prompting schools closings and officials to warn residents to cover up or stay indoors.
An Arctic front will combine with a storm flowing across the Rocky Mountains on Friday, according to a National Weather Service advisory. Extreme conditions in many parts of the country will continue into Saturday, it said, with snowfall but slightly milder temperatures expected in the Northeast.
Boston's morning low of 4 degrees Fahrenheit was the coldest since this date since 1883, when the mercury dipped to 1 Fahrenheit (minus 17 Celsius), according to the National Weather Service.
WATCH BELOW: Temperature Pattern
"We definitely have a blast of Arctic air," said Lenore Correia, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Taunton, Massachusetts, just outside Boston. "We have a really strong northern flow of air and it's pulling cold air down from Canada to New England and much of the country."
Wind chill and winter storm warnings were in effect for much of the northern United States - as far west as Montana and Idaho through the Midwest to New York, Massachusetts and Maine.
State police in Connecticut warned pedestrians and drivers of icy conditions, saying on Facebook, "If you are driving a sleigh you may be fine, but most of us rely on our own two feet and/or four wheels."
[847am] Temperatures will struggle to warm up today. Majority of Southern New England remaining under 20 degrees. pic.twitter.com/iMcD1cDI1t— NWS Boston (@NWSBoston) December 16, 2016
Temperatures dropped below zero Fahrenheit in parts of southern New Hampshire and Vermont, and forecasters warned that temperatures in much of the six-state New England region were unlikely to remain below 20 Fahrenheit throughout the day.
Schools were closed in Worcester and Lowell, Massachusetts, due to the frigid conditions.
Outside Boston's South Station commuter hub, 47-year-old Keith Donovan was bundled in multiple layers, with much of his face covered by a wrap as he waited for a bus to take him to his office.
"This is New England, so we expect cold, but this is a little worse than we usually get at this time of year," said Donovan, a resident of Bridgeport, Massachusetts.
A snowstorm was expected to blanket parts of South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin with between 5 inches and 10 inches of snow (13 to 25 cm), said meteorologist Patrick Burke of the Weather Prediction Center.