Temps are in a free-fall over northern New England right now and that will continue through Saturday. We won’t warm-up until Sunday afternoon when a warm front pushes north through the region. Until then you can expect it to feel as cold as it has in most of our lifetimes.

Wind chill warnings are up for all of Maine, with the season’s first blizzard warning in northern Maine.

The warnings don’t expire until Saturday evening. Before then, you can expect frostbite in about 10 minutes or less for nearly all of Maine. The blizzard warning is for rare, “ground blizzard” conditions, where snow on the ground will get blown around by the wind and reduce visibility significantly. This will make travel impossible or difficult in parts of northern Maine.

The wind will be gusting to more than 50 mph at times and the trend is for higher gusts up north.

Now let’s talk about wind chills and the records that could fall this weekend.

The record lowest wind chills around the state look like this:


Bangor: -56.6F (1998)

Caribou: -58.6F (1951)

Millinocket: -52F (1962)

Houlton: -56.8F (1995)

Bar Harbor: -46F (1943)

Greenville: -55.5F (1981)


Presque Isle: -46.7F (1957)

Of note is that the Portland Jetport has only recorded one day of –40 for a wind chill. It was –41 in 1971 and that record could fall Friday night or Saturday morning.

The reason this is so dangerous is that our bodies normally have a shield around them where we give off heat. That shield or force field is removed when the wind blows. Hot air always goes to cold so the heat around our bodies on our exposed skin goes away, leaving us unprotected to the extreme cold.

Please take caution if you are headed out and make sure you have a plan for your pets and animals this week.

The temps without the wind chill will probably not break any records, but it will still be quite cold from now through Saturday.

The good news is a warm front moving north through Maine on Sunday. We will see a big warm-up to end the weekend and throughout next week.

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