Mount Washington set a record for coldest wind chill ever recorded at minus 108 degrees.

People across the northeastern United States confronted the coldest temperatures seen in decades on Saturday, as an Arctic air mass passed over the region, accompanied by powerful winds that drove wind chills to dangerous levels.

Frigid conditions demolished records set more than a century ago in Boston and Providence, where lows hit minus 10 and minus 9 degrees Fahrenheit early Saturday, the National Weather Service reported. Temperatures plunged to 4 degrees in New York City, minus 6 in Hartford, Conn., and minus 15 in Concord, N.H., with the wind making it feel much colder everywhere.

A new record for the coldest wind chill ever recorded, minus 108 degrees Fahrenheit, was set at the summit of Mount Washington in New Hampshire, the region’s highest peak, on Friday. The previous record was minus 103 degrees.

Conditions were expected to become more moderate by Sunday. In the meantime, government officials opened warming shelters, issued warnings about frostbite and hypothermia, and urged people to stay inside. Saturday morning, more than 11,000 customers across New York State and nearly 7,000 in Maine were without electricity, according to the website

Forecast wind chill

Source: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Notes:  All times are Eastern. Wind chill is a measurement to describe the combined effects of sustained winds and low air temperatures on exposed skin. It begins to become dangerous around minus 25 degrees Fahrenheit, the point at which exposed skin may freeze in a minute. By Bea Malsky

“This is one of the coldest events that we’ve seen in years,” said Samantha Sheehan, a spokeswoman for Miro Weinberger, the mayor of Burlington, Vt. “We’re encouraging people to stay indoors.”

Mayor Michelle Wu of Boston declared a cold emergency through Sunday, while in New York, a Code Blue was in effect, meaning that no one seeking shelter would be denied.

In Portland, Maine, a shelter set up to serve 75 people saw 92 show up seeking warmth overnight on Friday and into Saturday morning, a city spokeswoman said. Chairs were set up to accommodate the extra turnout.

Will Donovan Jr. spent Friday night in a warming shelter in Oswego, N.Y., 40 miles north of Syracuse, where hours were extended throughout the weekend. He said he has lived outdoors off and on for three years, occasionally staying with friends or in motels.

“There’s homeless people out here who need someplace to go,” he said, sitting near a bed he had made up for himself. “Right now, I have nothing, no money.”

Inside Boston’s South Station, the downtown train hub that was left unlocked to provide emergency shelter overnight on Friday and Saturday, it was quiet early Saturday morning, though busy. Dozens of people covered in sleeping bags, quilts, fibrous blankets, and even trash bags lined up, sleeping, against the walls and on the benches of the station. Others, waiting for delayed trains, stood in front of the schedule board.

Rosie DeQuattro and Jerry Berke, of Maine, were there to catch a train to New York, where they planned to see a play. Mindful of the risk of frozen pipes, they opened all their kitchen cabinet doors before leaving home, to keep warm air circulating, and didn’t turn their heat down like they normally would before a trip.

The core of the Arctic air mass passed over northern New England, where residents pride themselves on cold-weather endurance. But the combination of frigid cold and high winds forced some to make rare accommodations.

Wildcat Mountain, a 4,000-foot peak in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, closed to skiers for a second consecutive day on Saturday, citing risks from the adverse conditions. Other ski mountains, including Sugarloaf in western Maine, where the temperature was minus 21 at 9 a.m. Saturday, limited chairlift operations.

The National Weather Service in Caribou, Maine, said in a tweet on Friday that it had received reports of “frostquakes,” tremors in the earth, similar to earthquakes but caused by sudden cracks in frozen soil.

In Burlington, Vermont, the annual Penguin Plunge — in which participants leap into icy Lake Champlain to raise money for the Special Olympics — was canceled and replaced with safer, remote activities. An opening event Friday night for the Quebec Winter Carnival, which draws tens of thousands of people to outdoor activities in the Canadian city, was also canceled.

Jeremy Dolbear, a newspaper carrier in Oswego, N.Y., for The Palladium-Times, left his truck running as he sat inside it, rolling and bagging 184 papers before setting out to deliver them late Friday night, a job that takes about three hours and requires leaving the warmth of his vehicle at each stop, he said.

“It’s pretty close to the coldest I can remember,” he said. “Normally it’s not like this cold where it goes right through you.”

Across the northern reaches of the region — and even in parts of Manhattan — some expressed a stoicism about the cold, noting that in past years, it has descended for far longer.

Marco Nasso, 38, was bundled in a fluffy hood as he walked his similarly dressed dog, Cesar, in Midtown Manhattan on Saturday morning. Mr. Nasso, who hails from Italy, seemed largely unfazed by the chill.

“That’s how it’s supposed to be, winter in New York,” he said with a shrug, adding that it hadn’t affected his weekend plans. “There’s people living in Alaska!”

In Vermont late Friday, Molly Bennett kept close tabs on the sometimes-unreliable furnace at her home in Quechee, checking in by phone with her 14-year-old son to make sure it was still working.

Reassured that the thermostat still said 66 degrees, she also checked in on the family dog.

“Did you let Jasper out?” Ms. Bennett asked the teenager during a brief video call from a convenience store in White River Junction. “Let him out if he needs to go out, but don’t let him stay out too long.”

Reporting was contributed by Amanda Pirani in New Hampshire, Ken Sturtz in upstate New York, Camille Baker and Téa Kvetenadze in New York City, Colleen Cronin and Cyerrah Walker in Boston, Siobhan Neela-Stock in Vermont and Polly Saltonstall in Maine.

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