Temperatures across New England dipped below zero Tuesday, but on Mount Washington in New Hampshire, a different, more anecdotal metric described the treacherous weather: the air was cold enough to freeze a dish of spaghetti, fork included, in mid-air.
Like a futuristic sculpture memorializing morning-after leftovers, the plate of pasta stood suspended in its place, its fork defying gravity as it hovered several inches off the snowy ground.
The photo was shared Tuesday by the Mount Washington Observatory, a nonprofit research facility at the summit of the tallest peak in the northeastern United States.
On the mountain Tuesday morning, temperatures were 30 below zero and the wind was more than 65 miles per hour. When one employee at the observatory ventured out into the frozen landscape with the plate of leftover spaghetti, they found the conditions too cold to even take a bite. The dish was frozen solid.
At 6,288 feet tall, Mount Washington has been dubbed the “home of the world’s worst weather.” In 1934, researchers recorded a windspeed of 231 miles per hour, one of the strongest ever measured on Earth. The summit sees hurricane force winds more than 100 days each year and averages about 100 inches of precipitation annually. Snow can last at the peak year round.
Earlier this year, the summit was buffeted by 114-mile-per-hour winds and minus-80 windchills as an Arctic airmass ventured into New England.
In November, researchers at the observatory woke to 10 fresh inches of snow on the ground, but found several feet of snow drifts had blocked their door. “They can get 10-, 12-foot drifts because of the way the snow accumulates,” Krissy Fraser, the observatory’s director of marketing and communications, said.
According to the National Weather Service, the brutally cold air blasting New England can be traced back to Utqiagvik, Alaska.