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Long Island weather: Very cold Friday before weekend warm-up

On Thursday, LI's weather made history for Jan. 31, with a low of 3 degrees breaking a 54-year record, the National Weather Service said. 

The weather forecast for Friday.

The weather forecast for Friday. Photo Credit: Newsday

Friday, the first day of February, saw temperatures rise to the low 20s, before cold conditions moderate further, heading up to the mid-40s on Sunday and low 50s for Monday and Tuesday, forecasters say.

This comes on the heels of January’s parting shot Thursday of arctic air that led to two records for cold on Long Island.

As of around 1 p.m. Friday, Long Island MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma was reporting cloudy skies and a temperature of 21 degrees, feeling more like 12 degrees with the wind chill. The average high for the day is 38 degrees, with 24 the average low. 

Look for temperatures to dip overnight to lows in the mid teens, the weather service said. 

The wind chills on Long Island have been subzero at times since late Wednesday. However, that's been outdone in severity by conditions in the Midwestern United States that led to temperatures and wind chill values that could cause frostbite in just around five minutes.

That’s as a section of the polar vortex — an area of low pressure and cold air that’s usually swirling over the Arctic Circle — broke free and dove south, plunging that area into the double digits below zero, and shattering records.

On Thursday, Long Island's weather also made history for Jan. 31, with a low of 3 degrees breaking a 54-year record, the weather service said. The record for the day’s coldest maximum temperature was also bested, with Thursday’s high of 17 degrees displacing 1977’s 23 degrees.

Over the weekend, temperatures are expected to start to head back up. “We do have some warmer weather on the way,” said News 12 Long Island meteorologist Rich Hoffman.

Saturday, Groundhog Day, will be partly sunny, with highs in the mid 30s and wind chills between 5 degrees and 15 degrees.

Sunday should be mostly sunny with highs in the mid 40s. On Monday, also mostly sunny, forecasters expect temperatures to head up to the low 50s.

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