Arctic Air Sweeps Into New England, Coldest Wind Chills in Years

As Arctic air sweeps into New England, Boston and much of the Northeast are set to experience the coldest wind chills in years. The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued wind chill warnings and advisories for much of the Northern Plains and New England areas, with record-breaking lows forecast for the New York City, Boston and Providence, Rhode Island areas.[0]

With temperatures dropping to minus-6 in Boston, Mayor Michelle Wu declared a cold emergency for the city from Friday through Sunday.[1] Wind chills in some areas may drop as low as minus-50 to minus-65 in northern and western Maine and even plunge to minus-100 at the summit of Mount Washington in New Hampshire.[2] Boston Public Schools were closed on Friday, as school administrators feared the cold’s health risks for students walking and taking public transit to school.[3]

The air mass over northern New England Friday night through the weekend is expected to be the coldest in the Northern Hemisphere, with the possible exception of a portion of Siberia. Portland, Maine, recorded its coldest wind chill in at least 75 years on Friday evening.[4] In Manchester, New Hampshire, the wind chill has been the lowest since the mid-1990s.[4] Wind chill temperatures of 30 degrees below zero could be seen in Boston, with New York City not far behind at 10 degrees below zero.[4]

Officials across these states are urging residents to stay inside, and precautions are being taken to try and protect the homeless.[5] Wind gusts up to 44 mph are expected on Friday night, so those who must go outside in the extreme cold should wear insulated layers of clothing, cover up areas of exposed skin, fill up their car's gas tank, and limit outdoor activities whenever possible.

Temperatures are expected to rise from the single digits overnight into the 30s by Sunday afternoon.[6] A few light rain or snow showers are possible by Sunday night.[7] On Monday, the weather will be dry and partly sunny, however, there is a chance of rain and snow beginning mid to late week.[7]

According to the National Weather Service, frostbite can occur on exposed skin in a mere 10 minutes or less when temperatures drop to such frigid levels.[8] Residents should take precautions, stay warm and safe, and check on their neighbors during this cold emergency.[5] New York City has issued a “code blue,” which indicates temperatures have reached an extremely low threshold and people may use the city’s homeless shelter system on an emergency basis.[9]

0. “New England's polar vortex cold snap could break all-time records” Axios, 3 Feb. 2023,

1. “Weekend winter weather forecast: cold Saturday in Northeast” USA TODAY, 4 Feb. 2023,

2. “Here's how cold it will get in the Northeast from the polar vortex” The Washington Post, 3 Feb. 2023,

3. “It’s going to be very, very cold in Mass. But northern Maine will be colder. And on Mt. Washington, forget it.”, 2 Feb. 2023,

4. “Polar vortex invades Northeast with coldest air in over 5 years, bitter wind chills” Fox Weather , 4 Feb. 2023,

5. “Arctic front brings life-threatening temperatures to Northeast” The Week, 4 Feb. 2023,

6. “NYC blasted with below-zero wind chills, record-setting cold as arctic air mass sweeps across northeast U.S.” New York Daily News, 4 Feb. 2023,

7. “Temperatures plunge well below zero Friday into Saturday, with wind chills to 45 below zero” WPTZ, 3 Feb. 2023,

8. “Maine braces for icy temperatures last seen 5 decades ago” Press Herald, 3 Feb. 2023,

9. “Cold front threatens millions as temperature drops below zero over weekend” Washington Examiner, 4 Feb. 2023,