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Long Island weather: Arctic blast continues; weekend snow likely

Dr. Paul Pipia, chief medical officer of Nassau University Medical Center, expects to see an uptick in visits as the arctic temperatures continue.

Forecasters say an arctic blast with the potential to set a record will bear down on Long Island on Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, and they are trying to assess whether a snowstorm could hit this weekend too. (Credit: News 12 Long Island)

The cold spell continues, with temperatures expected to remain below freezing at least through next Wednesday and possibly longer, forecasters say.

Temperatures may not rise above 32 degrees until Jan. 6 or later, said Richard Von Ohlen, News 12 Long Island meteorologist.

Friday was looking to dip down to the single digits just before sunrise for most of Long Island, rising only to the low 20s during daylight hours, but feeling considerably colder due to wind chill, said Joe Pollina, National Weather Service meteorologist in Upton.

The day could deliver two new records for cold at Long Island MacArthur Airport, that of daily low, with 11 degrees the record set in 1963 and that of coldest high temperature, with 28 degrees the record set in 1977, according to the weather service.

Such frigid conditions can be particularly dangerous for the elderly, homeless people and the very young.

Warming centers have been made available in both Suffolk and Nassau counties to help people who may need assistance in escaping the dangerously cold weather.

Dr. Paul Pipia, chief medical officer of Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, said he expects to see an uptick in hospital visits as the Arctic temperatures continue through the holiday weekend.

“The people we are most concerned about are the elderly because they are most susceptible to hypothermia, but also some of the younger people who think they are invincible and will also get themselves into trouble,” Pipia said.

Friday also brings a chance of snow flurries, the weather service said, with snow likely for Saturday. One to 3 inches is forecast for most of the Island, with up to 4 inches on the North Fork, Pollina said. Highs on Saturday are expected to reach the upper 20s.

Highs Sunday, the final day of 2017, will be in the low 20s, with New Year’s Eve revelers facing single-digit temperatures in the overnight hours, according to Pollina. The first day of the New Year sees similar conditions, perhaps a bit colder.

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