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Massena reaches 30 below zero Wednesday morning, sets record low

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MASSENA - Massena set a record low of 30 degrees below zero Wednesday morning, and while temperatures across St. Lawrence County are expected to very slowly go up, many are becoming sick of the Arctic-like atmosphere outside.

The National Weather Service in Burlington, Vt., reported that the previous record low for Massena on Jan. 22 was 29 degrees below zero.

“The coldest air out in St. Lawrence Valley was (Tuesday) night when we had lows around -30. It will be slightly warmer (Wednesday night), and by Friday it will hopefully warm up to 10 or 12 degrees above zero,” meteorologist Michael Muccilli said. “The coldest (Wednesday) morning was in Gouverneur at -34 and Massena was -30. The Potsdam area, if you want to say warmer, was -20 to -24.”

Route 37 Auto Body co-owner Sandy Roberts said that Wednesday was “the worst day” and “plenty of car batteries have been dead.” He also noted that both January and February seem to be the months when cars encounter the most issues.

“It varies. It could be January or it could be February, it depends when the cold spell comes. When it gets around -30, cars have a lot of trouble starting,” Mr. Roberts said. “It comes with the cold temperatures. People need to have maintenance done on their cars. Checking to see they have a good battery is the main thing.”

Mr. Muccilli said that most areas across the county should see temperatures between zero and five below zero today, but tonight will be back in the -20s.

He also said that this weekend could produce some light precipitation, ultimately leading to more cold temperatures.

“We’re looking to dry up through Friday. Friday night into Saturday we’re looking at some light snow accumulation. That gives way to a cold front Saturday night that could lead to more precipitation. And that could lead to more cold temperatures,” Mr. Muccilli said. “The Arctic air mass is normally centered in Canada. Over the past couple of days it has come down to the northeastern United States. The coastal load has pushed off into the eastern seaboards leading to strong winds (and cold temperatures) in northern New York.”

Living in the north country, one can expect to experience uncomfortable outdoor conditions. This winter though has been like few others according to some Massena residents.

“I don’t think we’ve seen below -10 or -15 the past few years,” Lucas Cusworth said. “I definitely like the warm weather better. (During) wintertime I’m just maintaining and getting through it, counting down the days.”

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