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Mount Washington Expected to be "Warm Spot"

As temperatures plummet Friday night, Mount Washington will actually be relatively warm. Plus, Meteorologist Michael Page describes what a "wind chill" really is.
COLCHESTER, Vt. - Mount Washington: New England's highest peak, and “home of the world's worst weather.” When conditions in much of northern New England are colder than at 6,300 feet, you know we're in for something fierce. Case in point: tonight.

Weather Observer Rebecca Scholand joined us from the summit, via skype.

"Tonight it's going to be really interesting- it's pretty much the entire state that's colder than us," she said.

While temperature inversions occur somewhat regularly, meaning the summit is warmer than nearby deep valleys, being warmer than such a widespread area is more unusual.

"It doesn't happen too entirely often. Usually what happens is just around the valley area where we are, we see cold air pour down into the valley,” she said.

Even at midday Friday, Mt. Washington wasn't a bad place to be comparatively. Both Burlington and the summit were minus nine with wind chills near minus 30.

Speaking of the wind chill, what exactly is that? Wind chill combines the actual air temperature, along with wind speed, to create a “feels like” temperature for your exposed skin. It was first developed in the 1940s by explorers in Antarctica. The original scale was too dramatic, meaning it made wind chills too cold. The scale was revised in 2001 to be more accurate. Remember, it specifically calculates the "feels like" temperature of skin. That means the scale doesn't apply to things like cars, just humans and pets, like Mt. Washington's Marty the cat.

"He's been hiding inside pretty much curled up all day long,” Rebecca Scholand said.

Marty's got the right idea.

Observers atop Mt. Washington expect lows near minus 20 Friday night, before temperatures rise overnight.
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