Temperatures on Long Island will plunge this weekend as forecasters predict a strong cold front on Saturday will set the table for snowfall next week.
It will become sunny this weekend, but overall “it’s just dry and cold,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Brian Ciemnecki.
Saturday will be mostly sunny with daytime temperatures falling to about 29 degrees — after early morning temperatures near 50 degrees at Long Island MacArthur Airport.
The weather service advised of slippery conditions Saturday. Temperatures below freezing mean “standing water will eventually freeze, forming black ice on untreated walkways, sidewalks, parking lots and roadways,” the service said in a special weather statement. “Use extra caution when venturing out.”
News 12 Long Island meteorologist Bruce Avery said Saturday afternoon will have gusty winds blowing from the northwest at 15 to 25 miles per hour.
Wind chill values will make it feel between 20 and 30 degrees, the weather service said.
Ciemnecki said the cold front coming Saturday will be swift and strong. Factoring in the morning rain, there could be patches of black ice on roadways, he added.
“When this front comes through, if you’re outside, you’re going to see an immediate temperature drop in about an hour,” Ciemnecki said. “About a 15- to 20-degree drop is what you’ll see.”
Ciemnecki said the cold front will clear the area by 2 p.m. Saturday. Saturday night’s low temperature will be about 16 degrees.
Sunday will be sunny and feature daytime highs in the upper 20s. The average temperature for Sunday on Long Island is 38 degrees, Ciemnecki said, so the region will be 8 to 10 degrees below normal. At night, Sunday’s temperature will drop to about 12 degrees. Skies will be clear and winds will blow from the northeast at 8 to 10 miles per hour.
Ciemnecki said the National Weather Service does not anticipate issuing any weather advisories this weekend.
On Monday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the daytime will be partly sunny with a high near 28 degrees. Winds will blow from the northeast at 7 to 10 miles per hour. Monday night will be cloudy with temperatures in the low 20s.
Ciemnecki said chilly air remaining on Long Island on Monday stems from Saturday’s cold front. Because of that, meteorologists are predicting a 30 percent chance of snowfall for Tuesday and Wednesday. Ciemnecki said it’s uncertain whether snow might start Monday night or Tuesday.
“The midweek storm doesn’t look too impressive at this point, maybe a couple of inches of snow Tuesday night through Wednesday,” Avery said. “However, it bears monitoring because at least one computer model has it as a larger storm.”