In case you're wondering: Frigid to "much below average" temperatures in the region will continue until the end of next week, with "a coating to a few inches" of snow now likely on Saturday, a tristate meteorologist said Thursday afternoon.
The average January low is 27 degrees: Current forecasts put it in the teens all the way down to single digits, at least until Saturday, Jan. 6.
The current "unrelenting" arctic jet has been "strong and overwhelming," with another to follow Sunday into Wednesday, meteorologist Joseph Cioffi said.
"The pattern shift will concern that northern jet as it begins to stretch, with part of that jet pulling out into the Atlantic and part of it rotating around and reforming a new trough further west with much more amplitude," he said.
"This opens the door to a stormier scenario but as always the timing of all the puzzle pieces will be an issue," the popular meteorologist added. "All of this is occurring as a strong ridge builds in the Pacific Northwest, which then opens the door for a possible snow event later next week.
"The realignment, however, does not change the fact that temperatures will remain below to much below average over the next 10 days," Cioffi said.
"With regards to being more specific about snow for the middle of next week," he added, "it is a fool's exercise at this point."
As far as New Year's Eve, the wind-chill factor should make it feel around zero to five below zero at midnight Monday, Jan. 1, making it one of the Top 5 coldest New Year's recorded in Times Square.
Safety tips to follow during frigid weather:
Remember: Food and drink provide the body with energy for producing its own heat. Keep the body replenished with fluids (water and juice) and limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol to prevent dehydration.
Beware of frostbite: Damage to body tissue caused by that tissue being frozen. Warning signs include loss of feeling and a white or pale appearance in extremities, such as fingers, toes, ear lobes, or the tip of the nose. If symptoms are detected, Get medical help immediately ! If you must wait for help, Slowly re-warm affected areas. If the person is also showing signs of hypothermia, warm the body core before the extremities.
Beware of hypothermia: Low body temperature. Warning signs include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness, and apparent exhaustion. If a person's body temperature is below 95 degrees Fahrenheit, Immediately seek medical attention.
If medical care isn't available:
- Begin warming the person slowly, warm the body core first. If needed use your own body heat to help.
- Get the person into dry clothing and wrap them in a warm blanket covering them completely, including the head and neck.
- Do not give the person alcohol, drugs, coffee, or any hot beverage or food; warm broth is better.
- Do not warm extremities (arms & legs) first! This drives the cold blood toward the heart and can lead to heart failure.
Remember: Strain from the cold and hard labor may cause a heart attack, so:
- Avoid overexertion, such as shoveling heavy snow, pushing a car, or walking in deep snows, especially if you are not in peak physical condition.
- If you must shovel snow, take it slow and lift small amounts, especially when removing heavy snow, slush or ice.
Be prepared at home:
- Keep a battery-powered radio and extra batteries for news and official broadcasts.
- Store food that can be prepared without an electric or gas stove.
- Stock emergency water and cooking supplies
- Have flashlights, battery-powered lams and extra batteries in case of a power outage. Candles and matches can be a fire hazard
- If you have a wood stove or fireplace store a good supply of dry, seasoned wood.
- Keep fire extinguishers on hand, and make sure your family knows how to use them and knows fire prevention rules
- Keep in touch with elderly neighbors or family
- Be prepared if you go out:
- Wear layers of thin clothing instead of single layers of thick clothing
- Avoid overexertion. Cold weather puts an added strain on the heart. If you add unaccustomed exercise, such as shoveling snow or pushing a car, you may risk heart attack or stroke.
- Mittens are warmer than gloves.
- Wear a hat; most body heat is lost through the top of the head.
- Cover you mouth with scarves to protect your lungs from directly inhaling extremely cold air.
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