'Dangerously chilly' wind chills headed for New York

ALBANY – Brace yourself, New Yorkers.

The bomb cyclone storm that socked parts of New York and the East Coast on Thursday is forecast to be followed up by frigid cold across the entire state.

Some “dangerously cold” temperatures are headed for all of New York this weekend, with wind chills expected to drop as low as 35 degrees below zero in some parts of the state, according to the National Weather Service.

A for most of the state, including Rochester and the Southern Tier, starting late Thursday or early Friday depending where you live and lasting through Sunday morning.

Temperatures are expected to be bitter cold, with most areas of the state expecting winds of up to 40 miles per hour and wind chills of at least 10 degrees below zero.

The meteorologists‘ advice? Stay indoors.

“This is a potentially dangerous situation to be outdoors,” the . “If you must be outside, be sure to cover all exposed skin. Frostbite can occur in 15 minutes or less with apparent temperatures of 25 below zero or colder.”

In Rochester, the NWS is forecasting wind chills between 20 below and 30 below zero at times with lake-effect snow of up to 5 to 8 inches. 

There, the warning is in effect from 8 p.m. Thursday to 7 a.m. Sunday.

In the Southern Tier, wind chills are forecast to be 10 below to 30 below zero, with the warning taking effect at 10 p.m. Thursday.

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And in the Hudson Valley, a winter-storm warning remained in effect until 1 a.m. Friday in parts of Westchester County. Wind chills are forecast at 10 to 15 degrees below zero Friday night. 

Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency Thursday for much of downstate New York as the.

The state of emergency order applied to Westchester County, New York City and Long Island, Cuomo said at a briefing in his Manhattan office. 

throughout New York City and its suburbs, though nearly two-thirds of flights at the three city-area airports had been canceled by 10 a.m. and downed trees had hindered service late Thursday morning on Metro-North‘s Hudson Line.

“There are two weather patterns that have collided,” Cuomo said Thursday. “It is snow plus very high gusts of wind, and that changes the situation very dramatically. Again, gusts of up to 60 miles per hour. That is a very serious situation.”

Cuomo‘s state of emergency makes it easier for state agencies and authorities to transport emergency equipment and snow-removal supplies across county lines.

The order waives certain regulations and rules, allowing the state to more easily transport emergency equipment and snow-removal supplies across county and town lines while allowing it to declare broad-reaching travel bans or restrictions, if necessary.

Cuomo has made it a standard procedure to issue such an order during major storms.

“It basically waves regulations and gives us ability to do things we wouldn‘t be able to do without legislative approval or regulatory change,” Cuomo said.

Joe Lhota, chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said he was hopeful the New York City transit system would be operating at near-normal levels for the evening commute, though he noted there were fewer commuters than normal during the morning rush.

Lhota said Metro-North trains are “also working,” but on the Hudson Line.

“We have a full complement of employees up there,” Lhota said. “We‘re having a wind situation on the Hudson Line, so some of our stations are being bypassed because of trees that are down. They are being fixed as we speak.”

Cuomo warned New Yorkers to avoid unnecessary travel.

“The wind compounds the problem,” Cuomo said. “Snow is one thing. Snow with 60 miles-per-hour gusts of wind is a totally different thing to deal with.”

Jon Campbell is a staff writer for the USA TODAY Network‘s Albany Bureau.

 

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