Get Ready for Brutally Cold 36 Hours on Long Island

Long Island polar vortex

For the next 36 hours, a swarm of arctic air will plunge temperatures into the teens, giving the region its first true taste of winter—which is still officially a week away.

Long Islanders will begin to feel the effects of the brutal cold snap Wednesday night, with wind chill values dropping the mercury into the teens, according to the National Weather Service’s Upton office.

Freezing temperatures will continue through Thursday, which will hang around the 20s for most of the day. Thursday evening will be dreadful, with forecasters calling for a low of 15, made worse by wind chill values in the single digits.

Contributing to the biting cold will be powerful wind gusts as high as 41 mph. A chance of scattered snow in the morning and a slight chance of snow late in the evening are also in the forecast.

The arctic blast will continue into Friday. Forecasters are calling for temperatures in the 20s with gusts as high as 26 mph.

Despite a chance of snow and rain Saturday, the temperature will rise to 45 on Saturday and 55 on Sunday, giving residents a much-needed reprieve from the arctic blast. Forecasters say rain is likely over the weekend.

Long Islanders can once again thank the notorious polar vortex for the frigid air that’s on its way. The vortex is also present in the arctic but occasionally becomes displaced and heads south during the winter—as its happening now.

The Northeast is hardly the only victim of the polar votex’s descent.

“As this high continues to drift southeastward through the next few days, a very cold air mass will overspread areas from the northern plains and Midwest to the Ohio valley, Mid-Atlantic, and Northeast in the wake of a fast-moving arctic cold front,” the National Weather Service said in a forecast discussion. “High temperatures [Wednesday] are expected to be 20 to 30 degrees below average over the north central U.S., with these cold temperatures spreading eastward on Thursday.”

In Chicago, for example, wind chills could be as low as -15.

Now that we think of it, maybe we shouldn’t be complaining.