UMass Lowell Connector Logo

Arctic Air hits Massachusetts in record cold weekend

(Photo Courtesy of Pintrest) “A snowman chilling out on a cold arctic day.”

Steven O’Hara
Connector Editor

Arctic air strikes Massachusetts on February 4th, causing a freezing frenzy across the city of Lowell and the state of Massachusetts. Students of the University of Massachusetts Lowell and residents alike have woken up this morning experiencing record-breaking temperatures that make this wintery New England state feel closer to Antarctica. With the lowest temperatures draining into the negatives, it’s unlikely that many will feel any natural warmth in these subzero conditions. With Lowell being on the Merrimack River, it’s easy to say that temperatures won’t be heating up anytime soon. A Wind Chill Warning was issued this past Friday morning, encouraging Massachusetts residents to stay out of the cold and warm up in their homes.

This past Saturday, the maximum temperature came to around 15 degrees Fahrenheit, which is practically summer compared to the night before when temperatures dropped to -5 degrees Fahrenheit. Boston has reportedly reached -10 degrees Fahrenheit, securing February 4th as one of the coldest days in the area since 1957, when temperatures reached -12 degrees Fahrenheit. This is no thanks to the wind chill, that’s increasing the intensity of this cold front and dropping the temperatures so quickly. Students are definitely experiencing the full effects of this blast of winter cold. Riley Fontana, a University of Massachusetts Lowell Junior studying English who lives on campus has this to say, “ I knew the cold was going to be dangerous but when I went to pull my window shut seeing it had cracked was really scary. But thankfully there was no glass or anything, so I’m not too worried,”. This cold isn’t only dangerous for people, but for buildings and homes too.

This extreme weather didn’t come out of nowhere, however. Professor Christopher Skinner, a University of Massachusetts Lowell professor who studies climate change and weather extremes, says, “[This weather] is record-setting. A piece of the polar vortex, which is a region of extremely cold air in the Arctic, has broken off and spiraled down into New England,”. Massachusetts is experiencing a little of what many people living in the Antarctic live with every day.

As to whether we’ll come out on the other side a little bit warmer, we have a professional in this field that has a very good answer. Professor Colby Frank, a University of Massachusetts Lowell professor who studies meteorology, gives the city some good news, saying, “We are lucky with this cold snap – it’s very brief. Temperatures will start to rise overnight as winds switch to the SW {coming from the SW} and warm air begins to come back north,”. Thankfully, this cold front is not here to stay. Reportedly, the rest of the week will be in the upper 30’s, with a little snow coming to Massachusetts on February 18th and 19th. Lowell isn’t out of the cold yet, however. With the Punxsutawney Phil seeing his shadow on February 2nd, it’s no telling how cold another six more weeks in Massachusetts winter can get. Stay safe, stay warm, and stay out of the wind.

Related posts