If you have friends in the North Eastern part of the United States you are likely hearing all sorts of end-of-days statuses involving ever-accumulating snow, trumpetous wind and biting cold. Sounds rough. Let’s get a little perspective using that go-to nerd reference for the frigid: Star Wars‘ Hoth.
According to Wookieepedia, Hoth’s average planetary temperature was around -61ºC (-78ºF). Those are the kind of temperatures where you have to start your car with a flamethrower. But at Echo Base, the daytime temperatures could reach as high as -32ºC (-26ºF). Yay?
While the “historic” nor’easter (that wasn’t nearly that bad in New York but just dumped on Massachusetts and Rhode Island) definitely got the SNOWMAGEDDON chant going again, the U.S. has been much closer to Hoth in years past.
If we are talking about conditions on Hoth that would kill a tauntaun, only one state in the US recorded a temperature colder than Hoth: Prospect Creek in Alaska. At the end of January in 1971, the creek recorded a temperature of -62ºC (-80ºF).
If you prefer Hoth in the daytime, almost all of the US — 41 states total — have been colder than -32ºC at some point. Interestingly, every single one of these temperature records except for Oklahoma’s and Maine’s occurred before the year 2000. It’s not surprising though, with rising global temperatures.
Oh, and it was as cold as Hoth in the daytime in New York on Monday. Saranac Lake recorded a temperature of -32ºC. “The Adirondacks’ Coolest Place” indeed.