Observatory Shares Photo of Fork Suspended in Frozen Pasta to Show How Cold New England Is

As extreme cold temperatures make their way through New England, a New Hampshire observatory found an out-of-the-box way to demonstrate the impact of the freeze.

On its Facebook page, the Mount Washington Observatory posted a bowl of spaghetti, with a fork suspended above it, being supported only by the frozen pasta.

"One of our Observers found a protected area out of the 65+ mph winds this morning and was going to have some leftover spaghetti for breakfast at sunrise but the -30F (-34C) temperatures prevented them from even taking a bite," the observatory wrote in the post.

The weather observation station is on the summit of Mount Washington, which is known for extreme weather. At 8 a.m. Tuesday, it reported a temperature of minus-26 degrees Fahrenheit, with a wind chill of almost minus-72 degrees.

Across the region, cities are closing public schools. The National Weather Service warned people against spending too much time outdoors, as in such cold temperatures, frostbite can hit in just half an hour.

In Maine, the Central Maine Power Company instructed customers to use weather strips on windows to keep the cold and moisture out. They also encouraged people to open drapes to allow the sunlight to naturally help warm their homes and lessen their reliance on heating systems.

New England, cold weather
The high temperature in Vermont on Tuesday was expected to be several degrees below zero in some areas with wind chills of up to minus 35. Above, Thomas Nosal wears a hat over his helmet following his daily bicycle commute to his job as a civil engineer on January 11, 2022, in Portland, Maine. Robert F. Bukaty/AP Photo

Schools in Massachusetts' three largest cities—Boston, Worcester and Springfield—canceled classes, saying they did not want children standing outside for extended periods of time waiting for buses.

"There has been an increase of covid with transportation personnel, which would result in buses running up to 30 minutes late," according to a tweet from the Worcester public schools. "The safety of our students and staff are always the focus of our decisions."

Syracuse, New York, Manchester, New Hampshire, and Burlington, Vermont, were among communities that also closed public schools. The closures came just a few days after many schools closed because of snow on Friday.

Wind-chill temperatures in areas near lakes Erie and Ontario in New York state were expected to drop as low as minus-30 degrees Fahrenheit (minus-34 Celsius) by the afternoon. To make matters worse, parts of the state were expected to be hit with up to 2 feet (0.6 meters) of lake-effect snow and winds gusts up to 40 mph (64 kph).

The high temperature in Vermont on Tuesday was expected to be several degrees below zero in some areas with wind chills of up to minus 35 (minus 37 C).

Temperatures dropped into the single digits Fahrenheit in many areas of Massachusetts, with the wind chill making it feel well below zero.

The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday that four COVID-19 testing sites overseen by the state would be closed on Tuesday because of the cold. The sites are in Claremont, Manchester, Nashua and Newington.

Testing sites in Springfield and Chicopee, Massachusetts, also closed on Tuesday because of the cold.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.