New York officials warned residents on Thursday to prepare for what might be the coldest weather of the season heading closer. Incoming temperatures could reach as low as 15 degrees with the blast and that is before factoring in wind chill. Forecasters say that these temperatures are 20 degrees below average for this time of year.
The Midwest, specifically Chicago, received the first of the blast earlier this week, with the wind chill dropping to 12 below zero. As extreme conditions moved toward New York City, the Department of Emergency Management issued several warnings to residents.
Officials also urged New Yorkers to stay indoors when possible and if going out is unavoidable, they should bundle up. Warming centers will also be open for those in need. The city is under a Code Blue weather emergency. James O’Neill, NYPD police commissioner, said:
“We have homeless outreach. They go throughout Manhattan, they talk to homeless people, see if they need services, and if they are willing to take services. We can either take them to homeless shelter, we can also take them to one of four hospitals. And that’s voluntary.”
Accuweather.com predicts that along with the frigid air, there will be quite a bit of snowfall throughout the northeastern United States. On Friday, the strong wind gusts should slow down in the area. By Saturday, the roads will either be covered with snow or slick and wet, which could be dangerous for motorists. Henry Margusity, senior meteorologist for Accuweather, said:
“The snow can come down hard at first, which could quickly cover roads, highways and sidewalks in the major cities from the I-99 and I-81 corridors to the I-95 cities of Philadelphia, New York City and Boston with this storm.”
Some areas will be at greater risk for falling trees and a series of power outages. There is also the very real possibility of flight delays or cancellations during a very busy time, depending on the severity of conditions. Sunday will bring light rain and a chance of warmer temperatures during the day.
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