Bitter cold brings another record low Wednesday

Commuters wait for a train Wednesday morning at

Commuters wait for a train Wednesday morning at the Ronkonkoma Long Island Rail Road station. (Jan. 8, 2014) Photo Credit: James Carbone

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On a Wednesday morning with another record-low temperature for Long Island, the National Weather Service said a warming trend is around the corner.

The Upton-based service had a record low of 7 at about 7 a.m. Wednesday at Long Island MacArthur Airport in Islip Town, the second consecutive day for a low-temperature benchmark.

But . . .

"We're going to get into some warmer air," Mike Silva, a meteorologist with the service, said. "More so tomorrow. But we'll get into the 20s [Wednesday] and by Thursday we'll be into the low to mid 30s."

The lingering cold is being pushed out by a high-pressure system that will reclaim more normal January temperatures, Silva said.

Wednesday's record low, which surpassed the previous mark of 14 in 1986, and Tuesday's record mark of 7 -- breaking the previous mark of 13 in 1988 -- were more than 20 degrees below the normal temperatures for the month, the service said.

The cold air and winds of up to 20 mph made the temperature Wednesday morning feel subzero, as low as minus 3 at MacArthur Airport, the service said. As of about 11 a.m. the temperature had risen to 17 degrees, but it felt more like 6 with the windchill factored in.

The state Department of Transportation was reporting no accidents on major Long Island roads Wednesday morning. And power outages numbered just over 100 as of about 11 a.m., according to the PSEG Long Island website.

The incoming system also will bring temperatures Friday in the low 40s and perhaps into the 50s by the weekend, the service said.

Yes, that's a dramatic shift, said David Stark, also a meteorologist in Upton, but it's a feature of what forecasters call "a progressive weather pattern" in which systems move quickly through an area with no factors that cause them to linger.

Late Tuesday, the service extended a chill advisory for Nassau County and western Suffolk to 8 a.m. Wednesday; wind chills of minus 8 to minus 15 were expected.

Tuesday's bone-chilling cold delayed trains, burst water mains and disrupted school days as the temperature plummeted 48 degrees in 24 hours on Long Island.

The temperature at MacArthur Airport went from 55 degrees in the 8 o'clock hour Monday to 7 degrees at the same time Tuesday, the service said.

The frigid weather comes courtesy of what experts are calling a polar vortex -- a massive low-pressure system that came to life days ago in far-off Siberia, swooped down across Canada and picked up steam over the Great Lakes before leveling an expected direct hit on the Northeast.

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