EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

March 7, 2007

Uncommon cold: Arctic blast drives mercury down, people inside

Kevin Edwards of Supreme Tree Services found a bright side to the bone-chilling cold yesterday - he got the day off. When the temperature drops as low as it did, Edwards said, he's forced to stay home. It's just too expensive to run the diesel trucks and other equipment all day in order to keep working.



"The oil gets so thick from the cold, and it takes a toll on the machines," he said. "It's not good to keep starting and stopping the machinery all day."



Some of the winter's coldest temperatures - and fiercest wind - roared through the state yesterday, prompting the National Weather Service to issue a wind chill advisory in effect until 7 a.m. today.



But, on another bright note, forecaster Bob Marine of the National Weather Service said there are warmer days ahead. Once this arctic air blows through, he said, the mercury should start climbing toward more seasonable temperatures.



"Once we make it through this spell, it should get much warmer," Marine said. "The forecast from Saturday on looks like it will be in the high 40s or close to 50. This was the coldest air we've had all season though, and it doesn't get much colder."



The arctic air that swept over the area yesterday came right down from the North Pole without a lot of change. That's why the low temperatures and wind chill were so significant, he said, especially in higher altitudes like Mount Washington, which was a frigid 37 degrees below zero.



Marine said the mountain's wind chills dropped the temperature to a staggering 100 degrees below zero, which allowed weather observers at the summit to throw pots of boiling water into the air and watch it turn to snow before their eyes.



But most Southern New Hampshire residents were eager to get their outdoor responsibilities over with and retreat inside.



Shirley Paradise of Derry said the freezing weather was enough to change her daily routine with her dog Buddha.



"I play ball with him every day," Paradise said. "But not today."



She was bundled up in a heavy coat, hat and gloves for her walk around town with Buddha. But even those extra layers weren't enough. She said the wind was burning her face and she couldn't wait to get back home.



That wasn't an option for Londonderry FedEx employee Jerry August, whose face was red from the blustery blast.



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