The Atlantic

It's Colder Than Mars Out There

The arctic freeze over the United States this week is producing the kind of frigid temperatures typical for the red planet.
Source: RW / MediaPunch / IPX / AP

On Thursday morning, Adam Gill stepped outside in a heavy, bright-yellow coat, bulky gloves, and a ski mask to brace himself against the blistering wind. He brought with him a metal teakettle full of boiling water. As he tipped the kettle over, the piping-hot liquid turned instantly into snow and blew away in the wind.

That’s how cold it was at the Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire, the highest peak in the northeastern United States. , a meteorologist at the observatory, conducting this little presentation received a bone-chilling low of -34 degrees Fahrenheit (-37 degrees Celsius)—and that was without accounting for wind chill. The day broke the previous record of -31 degrees Fahrenheit (-35 degrees Celsius), set in 1933.

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