Dangerously cold weather is forecast to grip Long Island and surrounding areas with temperatures dropping into the negatives this week and remaining in the single digits through next week, experts warn.
Wind chill values of -5 are expected Wednesday night into Thursday, forecasters said. The bitter cold, which comes as the region has a 50-percent chance of a snow storm this weekend, prompted officials to urge the public to prepare.
“Bitterly cold winter temperatures have settled in across the state and New Yorkers need to make sure they are prepared for this dangerously cold weather,” said Gov. Andrew Cuomo. “I encourage New Yorkers to stay informed and safe during this inclement weather — we will continue to monitor conditions and stand ready to assist any communities in need.”
The weather on the Island won’t be as severe as parts of upstate New York, where temperatures may drop as low as -40, officials said. But temps on LI are forecast to remain in the teens through the weekend, when it will warm up to the 20s. Temperatures overnight are expected to stay in the single digits through next week.
The National Weather Service (NWS) said the temperatures are 15-to-20 degrees below normal for this time of year. In addition, Upton-based NWS meteorologists issued a hazardous weather outlook to warn of a possible winter storm this weekend.
“There is the potential for a developing coastal storm to bring heavy snow to the area Saturday into Saturday night,” the agency said in a statement. “There is still uncertainty with the track of the low, which will determine the amount of snowfall.”
Cuomo issued reminders to make sure smoke alarms are working, fireplace chimneys are clean and keep flammable objects away from kerosene heaters. Nassau County, the town of Hempstead and Oyster Bay and the City of Glen Cove opened warming centers to help those without heat or homes.
Cantiague Park Ice Rink at 480 W. John St. in Hicksville is open 9 a.m.-9 p.m., the Mitchel Field Administration Center at 1 Charles Lindbergh Blvd. in Uniondale is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m., the Ice Skating Center at Bethpage at 1001 Stewart Ave. is open 9 a.m.-11 p.m. and the Glen Cove Senior Center at 130 Glen St. is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
And the Nassau County Winter Homeless Hotline is 1-866-WARMBED. Hempstead town’s 16 warming centers are open 9 a.m.-4:45 p.m. For more information, call 516-489-5000.