76 below

A problem with a thermometer has caused the electronic sign at the Raymond Shopping Center to display 76 degrees below zero for the past two weeks.

RAYMOND

Hairstylist Kim Bynum was scratching her head when she arrived for work at Trends Salon two weeks ago and noticed the temperature on the electronic sign at the Raymond Shopping Center.

According to the sign, it was a bone-chilling 76 degrees below zero.

That’s almost as low as the average temperature on Mars, which is -81.

“I was like, ‘Brrrrr, it doesn’t feel like minus 76,’” Bynum said, laughing.

It’s certainly been chilly around these parts in recent weeks, but nowhere near 76 below.

The frigid temperature reading appears to be the result of a broken thermometer inside the sign, according to Kathy Franson, the office manager for shopping center owner Vernet Properties.

The sign was still displaying the -76 degree reading Thursday and grabbing the attention of plaza workers and visitors.

“I am going to fix it,” Franson said.

Until the thermometer can be repaired, Franson said, she’s going to try to remove the temperature display from the 9-year-old sign.

Thursday morning was a frosty one in many parts of the state. In fact, it was actually warmer on the top of Mount Washington than it was at the surface in some North Country communities.

Mount Washington recorded a low of 0 while Berlin was -17 and Whitefield was -13, said Stacie Hanes, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, Maine.

The cold spell will ease over the next several days with temperatures rising into the upper 30s Friday and into the 40s on Saturday, Hanes said.

The normal high in Concord for this time of year is 37 degrees with a low of 19.

“We’ll at least be normal or above normal for the next several days,” Hanes said.

Highs will drop back into the low 30s by Tuesday before warming a bit by late next week. Hanes said it’s too early to know what the weather will be like for Christmas.

Visitors to the Raymond Shopping Center don’t seem to care what the weather’s like as long as it’s not -76.

“I’ve never felt it that cold before,” said shopper C. Gregory, who noticed the erroneous temperature a few days ago.

Jazz Bernier, who works at Pizza By George, saw the -76 reading when she arrived for work on a day when it was about 40 degrees.

“I come in and out every day and I looked up and thought, ‘That can’t be accurate,’” she said.

Sarah McKenzie, a sales associate at Ace Ben Franklin, has heard some chatter from customers who saw the temperature.

“It’s given me a nice holiday laugh,” she said.