After months of a winter that’s felt more like an autumn at times, the chill the season has been lacking has finally arrived. This morning, snow flurries fell to the ground as temperatures hit a high of 32 degrees.
These temperatures are expected to plummet tonight, causing the National Weather Service to issue a hazardous weather outlook for this evening. The NWS warns that “the combination of strong northerly winds and temperatures falling into the teens will result in wind chill values near zero late tonight and into Tuesday morning.”
Monday night is expected to remain clear, with a low around 13 degrees and winds between 17 to 20 mph, and gusts as high as 31 mph, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website read.
Brain Ciemnecai, a meteorologist with NWS, said the temperatures would remain below freezing throughout the day Tuesday and into Tuesday night, adding that he “wouldn’t be surprised if a few areas were in the single digits.”
He advised people to bundle up in order to be fully prepared for the cold weather. And, should today’s flurries continue, drivers should be aware that a dusting of snow could make the roads slick.
People won’t have to suffocate under coats, hats and gloves for long, however, as temperatures are projected to increase as the week continues. Wednesday the “weather will rebound” and temperatures will be in the lower 40s. Thursday and Friday are both expected to be around 45 degrees.
According to NWS, last month was one of the warmest Decembers on record for Long Island and the entire Northeast, with the average temperature 47.7 degrees at the Islip station between Dec. 1 and 20. That was 10.5 degrees above the normal December temperature on record there.
Some meteorologists claim that this unseasonably warm winter is more of a result of El Nino — a cyclical pattern of warm currents in the Pacific — than a sign of climate change. In an earlier interview, NWS said these affects could last throughout the season.