The cold front that moved in this week could turn out to be Bangor’s longest period of such freezing temperatures in nearly 40 years.

As of Wednesday — when Bangor’s pre-dawn temperatures clocked in at 9 below zero — the cold spell was predicted to last seven days, just shy of the all-time record of eight consecutive days with temperatures below 10 degrees, which happened in January, 1971.

“It will rival [1971], but I don’t know if it’s going to tie that record,” said Priscilla Farrar, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Caribou.

The second longest stretch came in 1979, when the mercury stayed below 10 degrees for six straight days in mid-February.

Record-breaking or not, the length and severity of this week’s chill is rare for this time of year in Bangor, Farrar said.

Temperatures across the state started to drop on Tuesday, and plunged below zero that night.

But lows over the coming week won’t come close to the coldest temperature ever recorded in Bangor — 32 below zero, in 1948. NWS records did not include the day’s time and date.

That’s 18 degrees warmer that Maine’s coldest on-record temperature, recorded only seven years ago. In 2009, a portion of the Big Black River along the Canadian border sunk 50 degrees below zero, Farrar said.

For Bangor, Thursday night and into Friday will be the coldest period of the stretch, according to Farrar. Thursday’s overnight low is predicted at 11 below zero, and Friday’s daytime high is only 7.

The cold front is caused by a mass of cold air sweeping in from the Arctic Circle, Farrar said, and not spurred by anything out of the ordinary.

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Callie Ferguson

Callie Ferguson is an investigative reporter for the Bangor Daily News. She writes about criminal justice, police and housing.