"You take the wind chill at 39 below and take a snowmobile going 50 mph, and you're about double that," he said. "That's pretty cold."
For Anthony Cavallo, the cold was just another in a litany of big and small aggravations that began when Superstorm Sandy swept through his Union Beach, N.J., neighborhood and flooded his one-story house with 4 1/2 feet of water.
Still waiting for the go-ahead to rebuild, Cavallo and his family have been living in a trailer they purchased once it became clear they couldn't afford to rent.
Wednesday's frigid temperatures temporarily froze the trailer's pipes, which Cavallo's 14-year-old daughter discovered when she tried to take a shower at 4:30 a.m. Cavallo spent the morning thawing out the pipes and stuffing hay under the trailer to help insulate them.
"Every day it's something, whether it's frozen pipes or getting jerked around for two months by insurance companies," the 48-year-old security system installer said. "I just kind of want to wake up one day and have no surprises."
In New York City, food vendor Bashir Babury contended with bone-numbing cold when he set up his cart selling coffee, bagels and pastries at 3 a.m. Wednesday. On the coldest of days, he wears layers of clothing and cranks up a small propane heater inside his cart.
"I put on two, three socks, I have good boots and two, three jackets," he said. "A hat, gloves, but when I'm working I can't wear gloves."
A little cold air couldn't keep Jo Goodwin, of Bridgewater, N.H., off the slopes at Sugarloaf ski resort in Carrabassett Valley, Maine, where she was skiing Wednesday with her husband and her sister. The snow conditions were great, and there were no lift lines.
To keep warm, she uses a toe warmer, a hand warmer, a face mask, extra underwear and an extra wool sweater. She was told the wind chill was minus 30 midway up the mountain and 50 below zero near the top.
"Sometimes," she said, "it's better not to know."
Associated Press writers David Porter in Newark, N.J., and Meghan Barr and Karen Matthews in New York contributed to this report.