Record cold in Northeast of the US
UBIMET: -37 degrees on Mount Washington, coldest days in New York since 20 years / heat wave in Arizona
Vienna, 2/12/2016 – Arctic cold air from the north of Canada floods the Northeast of the US on the weekend. Megacities like Boston, Philadelphia and New York are affected by the cold wave. Temperatures of around -30 degrees are possible. According to weather service provider UBIMET, the coldest night could approach in New York since 1994. The Southwest and parts of Canada on the other hand, are experiencing exceptionally warm weather, with temperatures around +30 degrees.
On the weekend, a depression off the coast of Newfoundland is about to hit the Northeast of the US with an enormous cold wave. “On its back side, polar cold air streams from the Canadian Arctic down to the South”, explains UBIMET meteorologist Josef Lukas. “The Peak of the cold wave will happen in the night of Sunday, when temperatures around -20 degrees and less will hit.” The whole Northeast of the US is affected by the cold wave, from Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan to the state of New York and all New England states.
Extremely low temperatures like that are rare in New York City, because of the warming influence of the Atlantic. The Big Apple can expect temperatures around -16 degrees this weekend, where it last had been that cold in 1994.
-37 degrees on Mount Washington
The absolutely lowest temperatures are expected during the night of Sunday in all New England states, where temperatures will drop in less windy valleys to -30 degrees. “On Mount Washington in the state of New Hampshire, located at 1,900 meters above sea level, temperatures will even go down to -37 degrees”, explains Lukas. “In combination with wind peaks of up to 100 km/h, this results in a wind chill temperature which feels like around -60 degrees. These conditions on the mountains are life-threatening.” Up to 30 to 60 centimeters of snowfall is primarily possible around the Great Lakes.
Heat wave with +30 degrees in Arizona, temperature record in Canada
The cold wave in the East of the US simultaneously allows extremely warm air further in the West to flow into the North. The Southwest of the US presently experiences a remarkable heat wave. Especially in Arizona and New Mexico, temperatures rise 10 to 15 degrees above average. “In Tuscon, Arizona, perfect beach weather with around +30 degrees will dominate the next days”, Lukas adds. “Normally, the highest temperatures in February only climb up to +20 degrees.” Currently, it is also exceptionally warm in the Canadian province of Alberta: Due to the foehn-alike Chinook-Windes, measured temperatures were around +16 degrees in Calgary. The 90-year-old record for the location was excelled by 1.6 degrees.
Graphic: Expected lowest temperatures during the night of Saturday to Sunday in selected locations. Source: UBIMET