Mount Washington to reach wind chills of -100F, as cold as Mars

The Mars Curiosity rover has recorded nighttime temperatures in recent days of 105 degrees below zero. Temperatures don't often get that low on Earth.
Posted at 3:35 PM, Feb 03, 2023

Dangerous wind chills are expected this weekend for much of the Northeast as cold temperatures and gusty winds will create dangerous conditions.

In one area that is notorious for its ferocious winds, the wind chill could reach 100 degrees below zero, according to theNational Weather Service.

Mount Washington, New Hampshire, sits 6,288 feet above sea level. According to Mount Washington Observatory, the average wind in February there is 45 mph.

It is also very snowy there, averaging 566 inches of snow a year.

The National Weather Service is projecting wind gusts on Mount Washington could reach 100 mph this weekend, while air temperatures drop to minus 45 degrees.

Mount Washington’s observatory is staffed year-round, but staffers are warning others about the extreme cold.

Minus-60 wind chills expected for some states this weekend

Minus-60 wind chills expected for some states this weekend

When wind chills reach minus 25, frostbite can occur in 15 minutes.


“I want to emphasize the danger of this cold,” wrote Mount Washington weather observer Alexis George. “In these brutally cold conditions, the risk of hypothermia and frostbite will be exponential. These frigid cold conditions will quickly rob you of body heat, with the possibility that frostbite could develop on exposed skin in under a minute. Even small mistakes can prove deadly, with a simple slip or fogged goggles leading to a potentially life-threatening situation. In this type of weather, rescue services will have a difficult time responding to any emergency effectively.”

Such ferocious cold isn't terribly common — at least not on Earth.

Located about 90 miles south of the Martian equator, the Mars Curiosity rover has recorded nighttime temperatures in recent days of 105 degrees below zero. The temperature during the day has climbed to as warm as 16 above zero, according to NASA.

According to NASA, temperatures on Mars can be as cold as 225 degrees below zero and as warm as 70 degrees above zero.

But it’s tricky to compare the wind chill on Mars to Earth.

According to Arizona State University, winds on Mars can reach up to 62 mph, but because of Mars’ thin atmosphere, the wind has very little force.

Surrounding towns in New England might not have wind chills as bad as Mount Washington, but the conditions will be nearly as dangerous. The National Weather Service is warning residents in New England and most of Upstate New York to prepare for wind chills reaching minus 60 degrees.

Wind chill warnings are in place from northeast Pennsylvania north to the Maine/New Brunswick border. The wind chill warning includes Boston, which could have a minus 30 wind chill Saturday morning.