A polar vortex arrived to Westchester early today, though the worst of it will be felt as it begins its main push through the region Saturday night.
Simply put, this weekend is likely to be awfully cold, the coldest so far this winter. That is mostly because of the wind chill, which could be “dangerous to potentially life threatening,” according to an alert by the National Weather Service (NWS).
The temperature this evening should reach the lower 20s, with a few scattered snow showers.
The high for Saturday is expected to be in the upper teens, with a low around 1°F all through Westchester. However, high temperatures will feel more like 1°F and low ones like -22°F, according to AccuWeather’s RealFeel, which factors in variables such as humidity, cloud cover, sun intensity, and wind.
Bill Potter, from the popular weather site Hudson Valley Weather (HVW), strongly encouraged people to take the weather seriously, as “hypothermia and frostbite can occur [in such conditions] in less than 15 minutes if your skin is exposed.”
The ugly part of the arctic front should have passed by Sunday at noon. However, the temperatures for Valentine’s Day will remain low, with highs in the upper teens and lows close to 1°F that should feel like single-digit temperatures, according to AccuWeather’s RealFeel.
The NWS released its customary cold weather safety tips, which include wearing layers of clothing, looking out for signs of frostbite (numbness and skin discoloration), and hypothermia (shivering, exhaustion, and dizziness), and taking care of your pets. You should also keep water running at a trickle to avoid frozen pipes and never use a stove or oven for heating, as that could be a fire hazard.
Although Monday should bring a respite from the arctic wind, HVW reported a storm might be on its way to the Hudson Valley by Monday afternoon—bringing snow and even rain to Westchester.
A polar vortex, as its name indicates, is a stream of air in the arctic, though sometimes it is pushed south, resulting in the awful cold we will have this weekend. If you want to know more about what a polar vortex is, check out this article on AccuWeather.
In the meantime, stay warm folks!