Bitterly cold temps are here — and they’re sticking around

NEW YORK — A blast of arctic air has settled in over the region, bringing with it days of bitterly cold temperatures and warnings from officials that this kind of frigid weather can be dangerous.

The high temperature on Tuesday struggled to reach into the upper 20s. That’s about 10 degrees below normal for this time of year, according to the National Weather Service.

Couple that with gusty winds and we’re in for wind chills dipping into the single digits and teens, even in the afternoon, for the next several days.

The arctic air will stick around on Wednesday, when the temperature will fall even lower than normal – about 15 degrees below average with highs in the teens to mid-20s. Overnight lows will tumble into the single digits and teens.

Thursday will be sunny but still bitter with highs in the low 20s and lows in the teens.

And this will be the expectation through early next week, with well-below normal temperatures and reinforcing shots of cold air that will keep the tri-state in a freeze.

There’s no precipitation in the immediate forecast, but some models are hinting at the possibility of snow for New Year’s Eve weekend. It’s too early to tell for sure, though, and “confidence remains low” that a significant storm will hit, the NWS said.

Still, forecasters are keeping an eye on “several disturbances” that, depending on where they end up, could bring an increased chance of weekend snow at least to Connecticut and Long Island.

City officials are warning New Yorkers to prepare for the extreme cold and reminding residents that the brutal weather is especially dangerous for homeless individuals, infants, older adults and people with certain chronic medical conditions, like heart or lung diseases, high blood pressure and diabetes.

Prolonged exposure in conditions this cold can lead to hypothermia and frostbite, city officials said.

A Code Blue went into effect at 4 p.m. Tuesday, meaning shelter is available throughout the five boroughs for anyone brought in by outreach teams and accommodations are available for walk-ins, as well.

The city’s Department of Homeless Services asks that if you see anyone at risk, especially those living on the street, to call 311.

For information about how to safely heat your home, tenants’ rights when it comes to heat and hot water, and emergency heating assistance, click here.