A Look at One of the Coldest Stretches in New England History

I went into the bathroom this morning, turned on the faucet and nothing came out, because the extreme cold froze some of the pipes in my house.

My wife and I were able to triage the situation by opening the access panel in back of the bath tub. We used a hair drier on the metal supply pipes allowing the water to flow freely. Our next step was to pour hot salt water down the drain and apply hot rags onto the PVC trap.

As the water cooled, we used the Shop Vac to suck out the water and then we repeated the process. After two hours, water was flowing and draining.

My house was built in the 1940s, so could this really be the first time these pipes froze?

I looked back at some of the climatology. As of this blog post, Boston has stayed below 20 degrees for the last 72 hours. We’re tied for the fourth longest stretch of days below 20 degrees! If our current forecast verifies, it would be the longest amount of time (on record) where Boston hasn’t reached 20 degrees.

Even though the high temperatures reached 50+ degrees twice this December, it’s currently the 20th coldest on record. The average temperature happens to be 2.9 degrees below normal for the month. We could move up a couple of more rankings if we take today and tomorrow into account.

Aside from a few flurries, we are expecting any additional accumulations in Boston through the remainder of December. There is a storm possibility on the horizon. Extreme cold limited out snow chances today, helping boost the storm out to see. As the cold begins to relax by the end of the week, a storm is possible Wednesday night into Thursday. It will be a relatively large storm, but it’s still too early to tell if we will see a significant snowfall.

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