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Wind Chill Bottoms Out At -86 Atop Mount Washington

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A weather observer at the Mount Washington Observatory. (Photo courtesy: Mount Washington Observatory -Facebook)

A weather observer at the Mount Washington Observatory. (Photo courtesy: Mount Washington Observatory -Facebook)

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BOSTON (CBS) – So you think it’s cold outside?

Nowhere is the weather more challenging in this region than atop New England’s highest peak, Mount Washington in New Hampshire.

Over the past 24 hours the temperature there has ranged from -15 to -29 degrees.

“At its coldest a couple of days ago, we hit -35. That was an outdoor ambient air temperature and the winds were at 70 miles per hour, so that was -86 for a wind chill,” Brian Fitzgerald, a weather observer on the summit, told WBZ NewsRadio 1030 Friday.

The wind chill was 84 below zero early Friday morning.

Even the fog is freezing at the summit.

“It’s almost too cold to operate our snow tractor. Certainly the diesel (fuel) was fine with some additives, but we were worried about our hydraulics actually freezing up once we got to the summit,” Fitzgerald said.

The weather observers have to go outside to record data every hour on the hour, no matter what the conditions are.

“We’re out there for 5, 10 minutes at a time, but we probably spend just as much time putting on clothes and taking off clothes making sure we’re covered up,” he said.

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