NEW YORK -- The coldest air of the year is coming and will send the tri-state into a polar plunge this weekend, bringing chilling temperatures that will plummet into the single digits along with a chance of snow showers.
Wind chill watches have been issued for areas north of the city in anticipation of temperatures that will feel like minus-20 degrees. Temperatures this weekend could potentially lead to frostbite, hypothermia and frozen pipes.
The first cold front moved across on Thursday bringing in blustery conditions behind it. Overnight lows will drop into the teens but the wind chills will be in the single digits through daybreak.
Despite the sun on Friday, temperatures will struggle to reach the mid 20s on Friday. The second arctic cold front will pass through late Friday into Saturday bringing a chance of snow showers during the early part of the day. Temperatures will start out at around 20 degrees during the morning but as the cold front passes, temperatures will dip through the teens through the day.
Temperatures will be around zero degrees by Sunday morning. That should surpass the previous record of two degrees set back in 1916.
On top of the frigid temperatures, the winds will be kicking up from the north bringing wind chills around -15 to -20 in the city. Areas north of the city could have feel-like reading as low as -30.
For Valentine’s Day, temperatures will gradually climb into the upper teens by the evening hours as high pressure moves out to sea. Fortunately, temperatures are expected to stick around in the upper teens through the night leading into Monday morning.
Cold spells of this magnitude bring a risk of frostbite and hypothermia for anyone who does not take proper precautions. Frozen pipes and overworked furnaces are also issues as they could leave residents without heat or running water.
Officials advise not to go outdoors without wearing gloves, a hat and several layers of clothing. Never use a stove or oven or heat your home or melt pipes as this could result in a house fire.
Check tire pressure on your vehicle and make sure you have a winter safety kit, in case your car breaks down. Take extra steps to keep your pets warm and bring them indoors.