As I'm sure you've gleaned from either going outside or spending a sleepless night listening to your windows rattle frenetically in their frames, insidious WINDS have descended upon our city and threaten to blow it right off the map.
We're talking wind speeds in the strong-to-whole gale bracket, powerful enough to blast shingles off roofs and even uproot trees.
Please be hyper-aware of your surroundings, lest you get blindsided by flying debris: Governor Amazon Cuomo's office warns of downed tree limbs and possible power outages, but New York City should obviously look out for trash torpedos, construction detritus, even tumbling scaffolding loosed from its moorings by wind surge. Check out this rogue window-washing gondola spotted in West SoHo; look at it swaying spookily back and forth, back and forth, like one of those barge-like carnival rides just gathering steam. Much to worry about here: It could come clattering down, or it could come crashing through the windows—either way, it looks like an obvious death trap. Be careful!
According to the National Weather Service, we can expect surface winds of 28 mph, accompanied by 54 mph gusts until about 2 p.m. You can probably hear these outside right now, roaring between the buildings and turning our streets into hurricane gauntlets. Windspeeds could reach 60 mph, but should taper off this afternoon and into the evening, the gusts dropping down through the 40s—a "fresh gale" that makes walking outside an exceedingly unpleasant task—to 38 mph by 11 p.m. Temps will remain seasonable throughout the day, mid-to-low 30s and into the high 20s at night, but due to the tempest, will feel more like 20s-to-teens.
[Sunday ➡️Monday] Winds will become the story tonight into tomorrow afternoon. ⚠️ A High Wind Warning will go into effect tonight. Winds 25-35 mph may gust to 60 mph. Winds of this magnitude will down trees and power lines. Scattered power outages are expected. #nywx #ctwx #njwx pic.twitter.com/y3jFID0ciO
— NWS New York NY (@NWSNewYorkNY) February 24, 2019
Naturally, the WIND has also disrupted service at our local airports. Gusts of 38, 39, and 47 mph menaced Laguardia, Newark, and JFK (respectively) this morning, meaning delays across the board. According to NBC 4 New York, Laguardia battened down its hatches around 8 a.m., enforcing a full ground stop. Now, arrivals are running about three hours behind schedule.
Gothamist editor Neil de Mause had the misfortune of flying into Newark from San Francisco around 10 p.m. on Sunday, and weathered a frighteningly turbulent landing. "Somewhere over Altoona, [Pennsylvania,] we noticed on the seat-back flight tracker that we were turning around and heading back west," he said. "Then the captain announced that they were expecting a bumpy landing, and everything should return to their seats and prepare for landing." The plane proceeded to circle, but "was flung every which way" in its descent into Newark, thanks to reported 35-mph winds. It was "nothing quite like that turbulence where you feel like your seat drops out from under you," de Mause said, "but still, there were a whole lot of air sickness bags out."
Today, Newark has replaced AirTrain service with buses.
⚠️ LGA Delay Status ⚠️
🛬 Arrivals: delayed at origin an average of 2 hours 58 minutes due to wind
🛫 Departures: delayed 31-45 minutes due to wind
✈️ Airborne Arrivals: 36 minutes https://t.co/3BCnheFV3n
— LaGuardia Airport (@LGAairport) February 25, 2019
Wherever you are today, try to stay away from construction sheds: The FDNY has already responded to runaway scaffolding situations in Washington Heights and on the Upper East Side, and the Department of Buildings will be conducting surprise spot-checks at construction sites citywide. The DOB warns New Yorkers to exercise vigilance with respect to cranes, hoists, and any building attachments that have been flimsily secured; to put away any tools you may have left outside; and to brace anything that's not firmly bolted down. You're going to want to anchor your gas grills and your propane tanks and bring in the patio furniture, or you may find yourself fishing your wicker sofa end out of a tree.
Also, remember that small dog wind advisory Cleveland issued for 45-50 mph gusts? Same situation applies here, friends: Hold onto your toy breeds when you take them out for their walks. If at all feasible, you're going to want to shelter in place all day, or end up like this windswept bull terrier, just another plastic bag battered around in the airborne garbage ballet.
Hold on to your Pooch!...We have an unofficial "Small Dog Warning" Wind Advisory for northern #Ohio and NW #Pennsylvania this evening through Wednesday. Wind gusts 45 to 50 mph! A few trees may be blown down. Scattered power outages possible. #OHwx #PAwx #ThisIsCLE #CLEwx #NWS pic.twitter.com/9Az5E991cZ
— NWS Cleveland (@NWSCLE) February 12, 2019