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Forecast: Record cold temps Thursday and Friday; Saturday snow chance

LeNeve Zuhoski, 8, of Southold is bundled up

LeNeve Zuhoski, 8, of Southold is bundled up against the cold in Greenport on Wednesday, Dec. 27, 2017. Credit: Randee Daddona

Long Islanders might feel they are revisiting the ice age.

Both Thursday and Friday could set record cold temperatures, and there is almost a 50 percent chance of “heavy snow” on Saturday, according to the National Weather Service in Upton.

Wind chill estimates for Suffolk on Thursday and Friday are even more dire than the weather service’s Tuesday prediction of 5 below zero to 5 degrees.

“It looks like eastern Long Island will potentially see between minus 15 to minus 20 degrees,” weather service meteorologist Joe Pollina said, adding that Westhampton Beach usually is the coldest spot.

“For much of central and western Long Island, we are talking about wind chill between zero and 5 below,” he said.

Though next week’s temperature looks just a touch balmier, Pollina said Thursday’s high of 21 degrees could break the record of 24 degrees, set in 1993.

Friday’s low of 12 degrees is just 1 degree above the 1963 record, which means “It’s still within the realm of possibility” that it too will fall, Pollina said.

Though the NWS has not predicted how much snow could fall on Saturday, possibly starting around 6 a.m. and continuing until about 5 p.m., the service defines heavy snow as 6 inches in 12 hours, he said.

Right now, the low-pressure area that might produce snow is “disorganized” and hovering over Florida and Georgia, Pollina said.

“We’ve been watching the system over the past few days. The last model, however, looked like it was not as impressive,” Pollina said.

Saturday’s high should be around 28 degrees; on Sunday and Monday, the daytime highs are 22 degrees, the weather service said.

On New Year’s Eve, however, revelers will see partly cloudy skies, while the low is forecast at 9 degrees.

Tuesday’s daytime high will be 24, and Wednesday might hit 29 degrees.

Still, officials are asking residents to “check that seniors, infants, those with chronic health problems, and mental health conditions are in safely and adequately heated dwellings.”

Long Island officials have arranged to help those struggling to stay warm as emergency shelter plans took effect in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

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