2018 is already a year for extremes.
While Sydney, Australia, was sweltering through one of its hottest days on record on Sunday (a blistering 47.3 degrees C or 117 degrees F), on Saturday, the award for second coldest temperature on Earth went to New Hampshire’s Mount Washington in the US.
The Mount Washington Observatory tweeted the extra cold temperature record on Saturday, pointing out that they were tied with the Canadian town of Armstrong, Ontario.
— MWObservatory (@MWObs) January 6, 2018
So, how cold was the second coldest place on Earth?
The temperature atop New Hampshire’s Mount Washington ended up at a pretty astonishing -36 degrees Fahrenheit (-37.7 degrees C), making it one of the coldest places on the planet.
And to make matters even worse, the wind chill reached about 94 degrees below zero (-70 C).
As the Boston Globe pointed out, it would have felt colder on the mountain than on the surface of Mars, where the temperature was minus 78 degrees.
The mountain itself, which is in the White Mountains, is around 6,288 feet (1,917 metres) above sea level. This lofty height makes it the highest peak in northeastern US.
Tied for the coldest spot on Earth that day hit a very chilly -38 degrees Fahrenheit (-38.89 degrees C). Top spot went to Eureka Nunavut, in Canada, and Jakutsk, Russia.
And for those of us over here in the midst of Australia’s heatwave, who might not even be able to imagine those kinds of temperatures, the first line from this New York Times article sums it up best:
“The moment you step out into the frozen air on the way up Mount Washington … the icy wind steals your breath and freezes your eyelashes. You can’t blink. The cold stabs your face and numbs your earlobes to rubber.”