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Bitter, Dangerously Cold Arctic Blast to Drop NYC Lows Into Single Digits This Weekend



What to Know

  • Enjoy a few days of more mild temperatures (at least for this time of year), because we’re about to get a powerful Arctic air blast
  • Friday’s highs will climb to around the freezing mark, then tumble … and tumble, and tumble. Expect single-digit lows in NYC Saturday, with dangerous sub-zero wind chills across the metro area; temps rebound Sunday and stay more mild for much of next week
  • Snow stays out of the forecast almost entirely, save for some small snow showers or snowflakes at times; NYC could set a record for longest snowless streak ever (333 days) if we don’t see any of the white stuff by the end of the weekend, and it seems likely we won’t

We really shouldn’t complain about any weather conditions, given how light of a season it’s been so far. But, boy, it will be very difficult not to say something when the frigid air heading to the New York City area hit your skin this weekend.

The cold starts to move in overnight into Tuesday, and stays chilly with mostly cloudy skies and temperatures in the upper 30s to low 40s. The morning will be noticeably colder, with wind chills in the 20s. There may be a brief rain or snow shower early in the morning, but otherwise dry the rest of the day.

A front will stall nearby through Tuesday night, and a disturbance could bring some light snow mainly to south Jersey, but NYC may see some snowflakes as well, but no accumulations expected in the city (we’ll have more on that later).

Temperatures will float between the upper 30s and low 40s through Thursday, which is when it begins to drop. Friday highs will likely be right around the freezing mark, and then it really tumbles.

Dangerously cold wind chills (think below zero) arrive Friday night, and that Arctic air blast will stick around for Saturday. Waking up Saturday, we hope you don’t have to be anywhere outside: Expect single-digit lows in the city, and it will feel like -10. It will ne even colder in the Hudson Valley and Connecticut (-18 in Bridgeport, -21 in Poughkeepsie).

If you do have to leave the house, be sure to bundle up: It only takes 30 minutes (or less) for frostbite set in on any exposed skin, and even walking a few blocks to a subway station will feel painful, especially if facing the wind.


There is some good news: Mercifully, the bitter cold won’t be here for long. On Sunday, temperatures will climb back up to the much more tolerable low 40s once again, along with the chance for a small amount of rain showers.

It will remain fairly pleasant through the early part of next week, as temps stay in the mid to upper 40s through Thursday, with a chance of showers coming that day as well.

Here’s a look at your 10-day NYC weather forecast.

Meanwhile, there won’t be a drop of precipitation coming while the temperatures are so bone-chillingly low. In case you somehow haven’t noticed, that’s something of a trend this winter.

For the first time ever (well, since the Ulysses S. Grant administration, at least), Central Park has not seen measurable snow prior to Jan. 30 of a winter season. The previous latest-ever first measurable snowfall date in the iconic space was Jan. 29, which happened during the winter of 1972-73, according to National Weather Service records.

There have been some flurries throughout the autumn and early winter, but reaching Jan. 30 without any accumulation of snow on the ground sets a new record. 

In a winter that has seen parts of the country walloped by historic snowstorms, including other areas of the Empire State, NYC has been notably bereft of the white stuff. Bereft might be too light a term, considering we haven’t seen any measurable snow at all thus far — and it’s about to be February. What else can we break?


Well, there’s no sign of any decent snow chance for New York City in the immediate forecast, so our next records to watch include:

Longest snowless streak ever: As of Monday, we’re six days away from eclipsing the No. 1 spot. If we make it to 333 days with no measurable NYC snow that’s the longest streak ever — and it may extend beyond that, too

nyc snow records

Storm Team 4

Warmest January ever: As of Sunday, we’ve got the second-warmest January on record. We’re just three tens of a degree from tying it, so we’ll see what happens through Tuesday.

See more random least snowy NYC winter facts here. Obtenga todos los detalles más recientes en español aquí.

Stay with Storm Team 4 for all the latest updates.

warmest januaries

Storm Team 4

First Central Park Snow Averages

Yes, we’ve technically seen snowflakes this season, but trace amounts of snow mixed in with rain don’t count for weather data recording purposes. (That’s not us, that’s the National Weather Service.)

Last winter, Central Park recorded its first measurable snowfall on Dec. 23, although it was only 0.2 inches (so, you see, “trace” amounts are really nothing at all). The average first measurable snowfall in the city is Dec. 7, so we’re already a month behind the average.

When looking at snowfall totals and temperature records for the region over time, “we’re starting to see in the last 20 years a consistent warming that tells us that there is a climate issue here,” New York state climatologist Mark Wysocki said.

He said of the top ten list of lowest snowfall totals measured in Central Park, five of them have been in the 2000s, as have four of the warmest winter temperatures.

Source: NBC New York


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