NWS: ‘Growing Potential’ for Winter Storm as Deep Freeze Continues

Deep freeze Getty Images

Winter has finally awoken from its prolonged slumber—an inevitable reality that has us shaking in our boots.

The deep freeze that enveloped Long Island Monday rudely woke up commuters Tuesday morning with near-below-zero wind chill values. Alas, once the glorious sun arose to tease us with its inviting rays, it was no match for the bone-chilling air testing our resolve.

Tuesday’s forecast calls for a high near 26 degrees, but strong winds—with gusts as strong as 41 miles per hour—will make it feel like five degrees through the evening.

Current Wind Chill readings.

Posted by US National Weather Service New York NY on Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Frigid conditions are expected Wednesday as well. A brief reprieve will come Thursday, when temperatures are expected to be above freezing.

The relief may be short-lived. Meteorologists are tracking a potential Nor’easter that could dump significant snow on the Island beginning Friday night.

“There is growing potential for a major winter storm Friday night into Sunday,” the National Weather Service’s Upton office warned. “This storm could produce heavy snow…strong winds…and significant coastal flooding.”

The weather service said that the probability for a major storm is increasing but it could not yet predict how much snow would fall.

Good evening! Confidence is increasing that a winter storm will effect the region late Friday through Sunday. However,…

Posted by US National Weather Service New York NY on Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The region saw its first “measurable” snowfall of the season on Sunday, when some areas recorded up to an inch. Long Island’s longest snow drought on record was in 1995. That year, forecasters didn’t measure at least a tenth of an inch of snow—the agency’s barometer for “measurable” snowfall—until Feb. 4, the weather service said.

It had been such an uneventful winter that people were beginning to wonder if the Island would see any snow at all. Now that the likelihood of a major winter storm is increasing, those unseasonably warm 60-plus-degree December days are starting to feel like a distant past.