Temperatures drop to record lows across Northeast

Sunday, January 11, 2004

BOSTON -- Temperatures dropped well below zero Saturday across the Northeast, making it the coldest day in a decade for some cities and keeping all but the hardiest people indoors.

St. Johnsbury, Vt., led the list of records Saturday with a low of 27 below zero, the National Weather Service said.

Boston's Logan International Airport recorded a low of 3 below zero, two degrees chillier than the previous record for Jan. 10, set in 1875. It was the city's coldest day since Jan. 16, 1994, when thermometers registered 4 below.

As he stood on a street corner Saturday, Jim Konda said that since moving from Alabama 20 years ago, he has "learned about layers."

Jeff Davis, 24, hurrying to work Saturday in downtown Boston, longed for San Diego. That city's forecast high Saturday: 69 degrees.

Other record lows included 19 below zero at Montpelier, Vt.; 16 below at Syracuse, N.Y.; 7 below at Scranton, Pa.; and 2 below at Bridgeport, Conn., according to the National Weather Service.

Rochester, N.Y., had its coldest morning since Jan. 16, 1994, with a record 12 below zero. New York City's La Guardia and Kennedy airports also set records for the day at 2 degrees above zero.

Atop New Hampshire's Mount Washington, elevation 6,288 feet, the Mount Washington Observatory reported a low of 29 below, an improvement from the reading of 38 below posted late Friday.

By comparison, Chicago was almost mild Saturday morning with a temperature of 19, up from Tuesday's low of 5 below zero.

"For Chicago, it's not too bad," Chicago resident Kevin Hail said as he walked to the train station. "I've been here since 1986, and Lord, I've seen some cold weather."

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