Skip to comments.Arctic Blast Hits Northeast, Mercury Plunges
Posted on 01/16/2004 3:18:08 AM PST by Wumpus Hunter
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Residents of the U.S. Northeast shivered through an extreme blast of Arctic air and snow on Thursday as temperatures from New York to Maine plunged toward record lows.
A five-inch blanket of snow grounded more than 225 flights at New York City airports and canceled school for children in parts of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. As much as 10 inches of snow fell in Michigan.
In New York, icy winds were expected to make it feel like 15 degrees below zero Fahrenheit by Thursday night. Excluding the wind chill, temperatures were expected to reach 4 degrees F, just shy of a 1957 record low of zero degrees F.
Despite numbing temperatures and whipping wind, a hardy group of nearly 100 protesters braved the cold outside Madison Square Garden, where the Republican Party will hold its convention this summer.
Protest leaders tried to rally the crowd by yelling "Are we hot? Are we angry?" but the shivering mob could barely muster a response.
At least one New Yorker tried to cope with the cold by keeping active. "Summer is a couple months away anyway, so why long for it?" said Rolin Jones. "Keep busy. Before you know it, it will be here."
New York had logged 2,365 complaints about inadequate heating by late Thursday, according to the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development. The daily average for such complaints in winter is 1,500.
In Maine, Gov. John Baldacci declared a civil emergency as the National Weather Service in Caribou said icy winds of up to 20 mph could make it feel like 50 degrees below zero through Friday morning.
Hundreds of schools in Massachusetts, including all public schools in Boston, were ordered to close on Friday because of the extreme cold.
CAMPAIGNS CARRY ON IN FRIGID NEW HAMPSHIRE
The eye-watering freeze kept the streets of Manchester, New Hampshire, largely pedestrian-free on Thursday, but politicians still campaigned for the state's first-in-the-nation presidential primary election on Jan. 27.
Perhaps hardest hit were the small knots of young volunteers detailed to show up, cheer and wave signs on the sidewalks outside the candidates' campaign stops to provide an energetic backdrop for the television cameras.
With the Democratic nominating race, at least, heating up, the rival camps made clear they could expect no reprieve.
"Our volunteers are taking a special pride in going outside and freezing their butts off for John Kerry," insisted Kerry campaign spokesman Mark Kornblau.
Meteorologists on New Hampshire's Mount Washington, home to the highest wind speed ever clocked on Earth, said they expect a 70-year-old record to fall within the next 24 hours.
Temperatures at the Mount Washington Observatory, perched on the highest peak in the northeastern United States, could drop below the record low of minus 47 F set on Jan. 29, 1934.
"We could conceivably hit 50 below zero Friday morning," said meteorologist Tim Markle, one of two weather observers stationed at the 6,288-foot summit this week.
Mount Washington's weather observers were being extra careful when venturing outside to make their hourly observations, because exposed flesh can freeze in less a minute in such weather. (Additional reporting by Larry Fine and Chad Ruble in New York, Greg Frost in Boston and Andrew Clark in Manchester, New Hampshire)
"Protest leaders tried to rally the crowd by yelling "Are we hot? Are we angry?" but the shivering mob could barely muster a response."
""Our volunteers are taking a special pride in going outside and freezing their butts off for John Kerry," insisted Kerry campaign spokesman Mark Kornblau."
I wonder why they don't mention Algore's speech yesterday where he blamed Bush for global warming?
When you've got the right winter gear, the cold doesn't matter.
You shouldn't judge people by their newscasters' hype.
...as usual the media edit outs the most critical parts of the story...They didn't include another phrase protestors also yelled, "Are we a bunch of stupid, moronic, idiots?"
Nah. More often than not, the cretins at these protests in NYC aren't even from the city, but from the 'burbs and out of state. I see them packed into Penn Station after their dopey riots.
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