While temperatures are expected to be back near 50 degrees on Sunday, there’s a blast of January-like cold to get through first, forecasters say.
We’re talking here about a “very strong shot of cold air,” says Rich Hoffman, News 12 Long Island meteorologist.
Long Island MacArthur Airport at around noon was recording a temperature of 40 degrees, feeling more like 30, thanks to 21 mph winds from the northwest, gusting to 31 mph, according to the National Weather Service’s website. Earlier wind gusts had reached 37 and 38 mph.
“We’ve already seen the high for the day,” with temperatures now “on a downward trend,” said Faye Morrone, weather service meteorologist in Upton.
By around 6 p.m., the temperature is forecast to dip down to around 33 degrees, feeling more like 22 or so, the weather service said.
The coldest spell is expected for just before sunrise Saturday, with around 22 degrees forecast, but feeling more like 10 to 15 degrees, the weather service said. That means there could be a new record low for the day at MacArthur Airport, to replace the 24 degrees recorded in 1973.
A freeze warning is in effect from 6 p.m. Friday to 8 a.m. Saturday for Long Island with the exception of southeastern Suffolk, indicating that crops and other sensitive vegetation will not survive the cold, thus ending the growing season. That area of Suffolk, still to see the cold blustery conditions, had previously experienced freezing conditions, Morrone said.
Saturday, with sunny skies, is forecast to head up to around 40 degrees, with continuing wind chill effects, and then plunge overnight, hitting an expected low of around 23 degrees near sunrise Sunday. Yet another record for cold could be broken, the 25 degrees registered in 2001.
After that, a rebound brings highs back to around 50 degrees and lows to the mid to upper 30s on Sunday, with Hoffman pointing to “warmer weather into next week.”