Friday morning commuters should be prepared for a taste of what’s expected to be even more numbingly cold conditions for the weekend, forecasters said Thursday.
As of around 7 a.m. Friday, Long Islanders heading out to work can expect to be greeted by windchills of around 4 degrees in Farmingdale and Montauk, zero at Long Island MacArthur Airport and minus 2 in Westhampton, the National Weather Service said.
As if that’s not bone-chilling enough, an Arctic cold front moves in for the weekend, leading to expected low air temperatures early Sunday morning of around 2 degrees in Farmingdale, zero at the airport, minus 1 at Westhampton and 4 in Montauk.
However, add windchill into that mix and you’re looking at potentially “life-threatening” feels-like temperatures of around minus 19, minus 21 and minus 23, respectively, the weather service said late Thursday afternoon.
That’s “dangerously cold weather,” said News 12 Long Island meteorologist Rich Hoffman.
Indeed, the weather service warns that with “cold spells of this magnitude,” frostbite and hypothermia are risks for those who don’t take precautions. Especially vulnerable are the elderly and babies in locations with inadequate heat, and the homeless and others who remain outdoors.
If you must venture outdoors overnight Saturday into Sunday, know that the windchill could result in frostbite in less than half an hour, the weather service said. Also, there’s potential for pipes to freeze and overworked furnaces to conk out, meaning no heat or running water.
Long Islanders can hark back to steps they took in February, 2015, which was the coldest month on record at the airport and which brought 12 days of single-digit lows, said Bill Korbel, also a News 12 Long Island meteorologist.
“For anyone without heat, especially the homeless, this kind of weather is potentially deadly,” he said. “And don’t forget about pets. They are not immune to the cold.”
The weather service recommends:
- Help keep pipes from freezing by running a trickle of water and leaving sink cabinet doors open.
- Don’t use an open flame to try to warm up frozen pipes, or turn to a stove or oven to warm your home, as “many house fires result from these practices.”
- Do tire-pressure and battery checks, and store a winter safety kit including blanket, warm clothes and gloves if your vehicle breaks down.
- Take special steps to keep companion animals warm, bringing them indoors and knowing their limits for such cold.