Long Islanders may or may not wake up to some scattered snow showers Thursday morning, but they certainly can count on it being cold, with temperatures in the low 20s, forecasters say.
What’s more, gusty winds mean windchill will make conditions feel much colder.
In fact, the weather service issued a wind advisory for Thursday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for Long Island, followed by a high-wind watch for the overnight hours, indicating more severe conditions.
That’s as winds from the northwest of 20 to 35 mph are expected to include gusts up to 50 mph during the day, and up to 60 mph overnight into early Friday, meaning the “highest wind potential” is for the nighttime hours, the service said.
Impacts could include downed trees and power lines, the weather service said, bringing the potential for power outages and driving challenges, especially for high-profile vehicles.
With a “blustery northwest flow” continuing to usher in arctic air Thursday, temperatures could even drop a degree or two further during the day to around 20 degrees, the weather service said.
Windchill could make that feel more like 0 to 10 degrees on Long Island, said Carlie Buccola, weather service meteorologist based in Upton.
Then things really take a dive, for early morning Friday.
Thursday’s overnight hours are forecast to bring a low of about 12 degrees by around sunup Friday at Long Island MacArthur Airport, according to the weather service. Long Islanders waking up Friday morning should be prepared for subzero wind chills, especially in Suffolk County, Buccola said.
A record low — that of 10 degrees, set in 1988 at the airport — could be tied or broken Friday, the weather service said.
“It will simply be a painful cold on any exposed skin,” said Matt Hammer, News 12 Long Island meteorologist, in a Facebook post. “You will have to dress more warmly than you’ve had to yet this season! .<en>.<en>. or just hibernate until Saturday afternoon.”
Indeed, the Town of Hempstead is opening 15 warming centers for those needing to get in out of the cold on Thursday and Friday.
And Nassau County is partnering with the Town of Oyster Bay, the Village of Rockville Centre and the Salvation Army in opening nine warming centers on those days.
The next batch of precipitation, after Thursday’s possible snow showers, comes with a chance for a couple of hours of snow early Saturday — with perhaps an inch or so of accumulation — to possibly leading into rain throughout the day, Buccola said.
At that point, high temperatures are expected to have rebounded to the mid-40s, with the mid-50s expected for Sunday.
After that, and in finest weather ping-pong fashion, Monday and Tuesday are forecast to dip down to the mid-30s.