A short-lived but impressive and dangerous cold event is peaking Saturday morning across the Northeast.
The bitter cold will be caused by a southward plunge of a piece, or lobe, of the polar vortex – a persistent area of low pressure located in the high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, the FOX Forecast Center said. The polar vortex is surrounded by a band of strong jet stream winds that circulates around the North Pole, which typically keeps the arctic air contained near the polar regions.
The worst of the cold across the Northeast is ongoing as temperatures sit below zero across all of New England and Upstate New York.
Record low temperatures for February 4 may fall in cities like Boston, Worcester, Providence, and Bridgeport, Connecticut. Single digits are being felt across New York City, Long Island, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Wind chills are even worse, with feels-like temperatures in the -40 to -50 degree range for portions of Upstate New York and New England.
The potential of even colder wind chills of negative 60 degrees for interior Maine, matching some of the coldest wind chills observed in decades.
Portland, Maine, recorded their coldest wind chill in at least 75 years on Friday evening. In Manchester, New Hampshire, the wind chill has been lowest since the mid-1990s.
A recorded 10 degrees below zero Saturday made it the coldest morning in Boston in 67 years. Earlier Saturday morning, a negative 39-degree wind chill was recorded. This is the coldest wind chill recorded in Boston since at least 1944 (as far back as data goes).
The most dangerous areas of blowing snow in northern Maine will be focused across Aroostook County and far northern Penobscot County, including areas such as Caribou, Houlton and Millinocket. Conditions there will be life-threatening to anyone caught outside as whiteout conditions will be combined with wind chills that might approach negative 60 degrees.
The good news is that the cold snap will be brief, and warmer temperatures will return Sunday and into next week.