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Long Island weather: Arctic ‘punch’ brings weekend freeze watch

The high temperature Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, will

The high temperature Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, will be in the lower 50s, but temperatures will drop to near freezing Friday afternoon, the National Weather Service said. Credit: News 12 Long Island

How about a brief shot of January-like chill, likely to break a record for cold, to ring in the weekend that includes Veterans Day?

That’s as an arctic air mass gets ushered in Friday, which sees its highest temperatures of around 40 degrees in the wee hours of the morning, slowly dropping to the upper 30s into the afternoon and then down to freezing by around 5 to 6 p.m., said Tim Morrin, National Weather Service meteorologist based in Upton.

A freeze warning was in effect on Long Island from 6 p.m. Friday to 8 a.m. Saturday.

The air mass is heading straight down from the north, Morrin said, meaning not much chance for it to modify — “a quick, strong punch from up there in the cold confines of Quebec.”

Then throw in northwest winds of 22 to 25 mph, gusting to the mid-30s, and Long Island will have temperatures feeling much colder, with Friday morning commuters wise to prepare to face conditions more akin to the mid-20s thanks to the windchill.

Then, it gets really cold, with Saturday morning around sunrise looking at a possible 20 degrees — feeling colder still thanks to the winds, the weather service said. The record low for Saturday, the day we honor veterans, is 24 degrees, set in 1973 at Long Island MacArthur Airport,

Indeed, we’re talking here about the “coldest air mass since March,” said Rich Hoffman, News 12 Long Island meteorologist. “Make sure your heat works,” he said, and “protect your plants.”

A freeze watch is in effect for most of Long Island from late Friday afternoon through Saturday morning, saying crops and other sensitive vegetation will not survive the cold, meaning a formal end to the growing season.

Those attending any outdoor activities will certainly need to bundle up with hats, scarves, heavy socks and plenty of layers.

Saturday, which brings sunny skies, starts out “very cold,” Hoffman said, with temperatures forecast to head up to around 40 degrees, with continuing windchill impacts.

The hours overnight into Sunday morning head down to the mid-20s, potentially dislodging another daily cold record, Morrin said, which is 25 degrees, set in 2001.

Then, a warm-up rebound is expected Sunday, when temperatures will head up to around 50 degrees, and the next several days following suit, with highs in the low- to mid-50s.

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