Get your long johns ready: The brutally cold temperatures that are affecting much of the midwest this week are moving into New York City. According to the National Weather Service, an “arctic cold front” will start moving across New York on Wednesday, bringing frigid temperatures and wind chills of 10 to 20 degrees below zero. Temperatures aren’t expected to get above freezing until the weekend.
The brutal cold may be accompanied by snow squalls—periods of intense wind and snow showers—this afternoon (here’s what that looked like), leading the city’s Office of Emergency Management to issue a hazardous travel advisory:
This intense burst of snowfall combined with strong wind gusts may cause brief whiteout conditions, limiting visibility and making travel extremely dangerous. New Yorkers should plan for hazardous travel during the evening commute and are advised to take mass transit where possible, delay travel or safely exit highways or roadways before the snow squall arrives.
A line of snow showers and/or snow squalls will move across the region this afternoon into the early evening. Brief whiteout conditions and a coating to around an inch of snow will be possible in any of the heavier snow squalls. pic.twitter.com/jFZIDS8B6X— NWS New York NY (@NWSNewYorkNY) January 30, 2019
The de Blasio administration has issued a winter weather advisory, and notes that the Department of Sanitation will be at the ready to help clear any precipitation that’s sticking to roads. The city’s Department of Homeless Services issued a code blue warning that will likely continue into the evening, with expanded shelter services and more assistance available for the city’s homeless population.
Then behind the cold front, after the snow showers and snow squalls push offshore Wednesday evening, brutally cold air will move in for Wednesday night and last into Friday morning. Here are the coldest wind chills expected by Thursday morning! pic.twitter.com/3yoXkWvUzW— NWS New York NY (@NWSNewYorkNY) January 30, 2019
The cold front is part of the larger “polar vortex” that’s moving across the United States, and bringing record low temperatures—with potentially deadly consequences—to parts of the Midwest, including Chicago.
While we won’t have it quite so bad in New York, there’s always the chance that extreme cold can affect your home, whether through frozen pipes or a lack of working heat. If the heat in your apartment isn’t working, here’s everything you need to know.
NYCHA has also activated its situation room to deal with any heating issues at its properties throughout the city, which have historically not fared well in deep freeze conditions. A warming center will be open to NYCHA residents from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in every borough through the end of the week. The agency recommends that any residents with heating issues report them via the MyNYCHA app, or through its Customer Contact center at 718-707-7771.