Mt. Washington Observatory's Adam Gill shows how boiling water turns to snow in below-zero temps. (Mt. Washington Observatory/Facebook)
MOUNT WASHINGTON, NH (WBZ-AM/AP) -- Atop the highest peak in New England Thursday morning, Mount Washington Observatory Weather Observer Adam Gill noticed the temperature rising.
"We're currently sitting at 28 degrees, which is actually a warm-up from this morning," Gill told WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Ben Parker.
Just to clarify, that's 28 degrees below zero.
The observatory recorded a temperature of negative 34 degrees, shattering the day's record of negative 31, which was set in 1933.
Gill said hefty wind gusts made it feel even colder.
"Our peak gust occurred about 2 o'clock this morning with a gust of 116 mph," Gill said. "At the time, the temperature was about 31 degrees below zero, so the wind chill was 89 degrees below zero."
As of 1:30AM, the temperature is hovering around -30F with winds sustained around 90mph! Wind chill? A "skin-chilling" -83F! #mwobs #nhwx #cold #winter #whitemountains #notshortsweather https://t.co/dW4Jn8h05z pic.twitter.com/BMqdFtOQ4A— MWObservatory (@MWObs) December 28, 2017
And Gill has to go out into that, once an hour, to do manual weather observations--because, he says, the weather conditions usually "destroy" their digital equipment.
"Typically, when it's really cold like this, we try to spend about 30 seconds outside rather than having to spend usually a minute or two like we normally do," he said. "Because when you're exposed to the winds like this, even bundled up, you get cold fast."
He said freezing fog left visibility at around 1/8 of a mile Thursday morning.
"You could kind of see the sun dimly through the fog as it rose, but right now, we're kind of stuck in the clouds," he said. "There's lots of rime everywhere, and some of the bigger wind gusts will cause rime and blowing snow to blow by, reducing visibility further."
Rime ice is formed when water droplets in fog freeze to objects.
The observatory is currently appealing to the public for funds--they're trying to raise $85,000 for their 85th anniversary.
"We are a non-profit that works up at the summit of Mt. Washington, so at the end of every year, we kind of have our last-ditch effort to raise funds for the observatory," Gill said.
As for donations of coffee and hot chocolate, Gill said "those will be accepted," too.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Ben Parker reports