It all started the afternoon and evening before Thanksgiving.
A powerful cold front raced through, causing snow squalls and sending temperatures toppling in its wake. With Siberian air taking up residence across the Northeastern United States by Thanksgiving morning, numerous locations tied or broke record lows.
Participants and attendees at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade endured the lowest temperatures ever recorded during the spectacle. The thermometer fell to 19 degrees at Central Park on Thursday morning, which was the coldest Thanksgiving temperature there since 1871.
The coldest temperatures of this Arctic blast have focused north of the Mid-Atlantic, with New York, Pennsylvania and New England taking the brunt.
Numerous cities logged their coldest high temperatures on Thanksgiving Day, which felt more like a cold New Year’s Day.
A very small sample of those records include Providence, R.I., (24 degrees), Hartford, Conn., (21 degrees) and Worcester, Mass., (16 degrees). These were not only record cold highs for Nov. 22 but also any Thanksgiving date, according to the National Weather Service in Boston. It was a similar story in Maine and New York.
Boston, where the high was 24 degrees, matched its coldest Thanksgiving Day high and the coldest high for Nov. 22.
The minus-26 degree low at Mount Washington was the coldest not only for the date but also in November overall, besting a reading of minus-20 on Nov. 30 in 1958.
With this cold snap peaking Thursday into Friday morning, the Northeast United States awoke to the deep freeze once again.
Per the Weather Prediction Center, preliminary numbers indicate that low temperature records were set in places like Syracuse, N.Y., where a low of minus-1 is now the coldest on record there in November. Other locations where record lows for the date occurred Friday morning include New York City (JFK) with a low of 15 degrees, Hartford, Conn., at 5 degrees, and Burlington, Vt., with a low of 1 degree.
Temperatures across New York and New England into parts of Pennsylvania were largely in the single digits above and below zero for lows. In the Mid-Atlantic, teens and 20s were common.
Midwinter conditions will persist in the Northeast through Friday. Temperatures are expected to stay near and below freezing from near the Mason-Dixon Line and northward. Much of New York and New England is set to spend another day in the teens and 20s. While this cold shot is brutal, it is also short-lived. More seasonable conditions are anticipated to return in the coming days.