Long Islanders were bundled up Tuesday in multiple layers, hats, gloves and masks as they ran errands or walked the dog amid some of the coldest temperatures of the season. Credit: Newsday staff

Some of the coldest temperatures of the season settled on Long Island Tuesday — and it's only going to get more frigid heading into the weekend.

Temperatures in Islip dipped to 18 degrees Tuesday and stayed in the high teens and low 20s throughout the day — the second-coldest day since last February, said Dominic Ramunni, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Upton.

The arctic blast, a gift from a Canadian sky-clearing high pressure system, prompted forecasters to issue a hazardous weather statement and special weather statements lasting through Wednesday morning, and to warn that frostbite can arise swiftly for any exposed skin.

Long Islanders were bundled up Tuesday in multiple layers, hats, gloves and masks as they ran errands or walked the dog.

"It's been a while since it's been this cold," said Christina Fratantoni of Massapequa. "This is really cold but what can you do? It's winter."

But others said they enjoyed the colder temperatures.

"I find it invigorating," said Barbara Witte of Mastic Beach. "I like the cold weather. I feel better in the cold weather."

Overnight Tuesday, the low will be 14 degrees with clear skies, forecasters said. It likely will be even more polar-like around the pine barrens, which "may get close to zero," the weather service predicted.

The bitter cold will last through Wednesday morning, with the wind chill ranging from 10 to 20 degrees, but the afternoon should bring a relatively mild temperature of 39, the weather service said.

Thursday might feel almost balmy by comparison, the weather service said, with a daytime high of 41 and partly sunny skies.

There is, forecasters said, "perhaps a slight chance of some light snow across eastern Long Island and southeast Connecticut late Thursday night/Friday morning," thanks to a developing offshore storm and another Canadian high pressure system, forecasters said.

The freezing temperatures return Friday with daytime highs in the low 30s and dropping into the single digits into early Saturday morning, Ramunni said.

"It will be the coldest air of the season," he said.

Saturday should be at least partly sunny, with a daytime high of 23. There is a 30% chance of snow that night, when thermometers will plummet to 14.

The same odds of snow are predicted for both Sunday — though it is expected to be mostly sunny with a daytime high of 30 — and Sunday night — when the low will fall to about 22.

The "forecast carries a chance of snow for Sunday, and if models trend more slowly this chance may eventually shift into Sunday night or Monday," the weather service said.

With Joan Gralla and Christopher Ware

Tips for bitter cold conditions

The National Weather Service provides these basics on wind chill, frost bite and hypothermia.

For wind chill and frostbite:

  • Wind chill measures what it will feel like "based on the rate of heat loss from exposed skin caused by the effects of wind and cold."
  • A temperature of 0°F and a wind speed of 15 mph will produce a wind chill temperature of -19°F. Under these conditions, exposed skin can freeze in 30 minute
  • Frostbite is an injury to the body caused by freezing body tissue. The most susceptible parts of the body are the extremities such as fingers, toes, earlobes, or the tip of the nose.
  • Symptoms include a loss of feeling in the extremity and a white or pale appearance.
  • Medical attention is needed immediately for frostbite. The area should be SLOWLY rewarmed.

For hypothermia:

  • Hypothermia, which is even more dangerous, means abnormally low body temperature (below 95 degrees Fahrenheit).
  • Warning signs include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion.
  • Medical attention is needed immediately. If it is not available, begin warming the body SLOWLY.

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