With Halloween dead and buried, we must now confront the looming inevitability of winter, which could arrive sometime next month or later this week, nobody knows. Now that we've "fallen back," i.e. sacrificed the afternoon sun to one extra hour of sleep one time, it is time to prepare your body for the polar vortices to come. It is time to throw on a turtleneck, boil yourself some hot wine, settle into bed at 3 p.m. and await the Arctic onslaught.
Incidentally, that onslaught may arrive as soon as Thursday evening, when the dreaded Wintry Mix threatens to make its first appearance. True, nobody asked for this...but then again I'm not sure anyone asked my local Rite Aid to take up its Yuletide mantel at midnight on Friday, yet here we are.
This morning, NYC awoke to the coldest temps it's experienced since April 6th: It was reportedly a bracing 37 degrees out there, a low that should warm to about 54 degrees by mid-afternoon. The day will be mostly sunny, like it is right now, with temperatures hovering in the low 50s overnight and rising all the way to 60 by noon tomorrow. The sky could cloud over, but expect autumnal conditions — mild, breezy — to linger until Thursday. At that point, you're probably going to want to fold over your turtleneck for double neck protection, because these temps will be brisk: Wednesday's high of 52 will cool into the low 40s overnight, rising up to roughly 54 on Thursday before dropping down into the 30s on Friday morning. This is when potential for wintry mix enters into the fray, quite possibly disrupting both your evening and morning commutes.
The National Weather Service is currently forecasting a sustained chance of rain, starting around 6 a.m. on Thursday and plowing forward undaunted till about 5 p.m. on Friday. It's possible that The Weather will sprinkle snow on top of this cold and clammy situation, with a chance of flakes beginning around 6 p.m. on Thursday and persisting until 5 p.m. on Friday. Overnight, wind chill will have created the sensory illusion of temps in the 20s — it could feel as cold as 24 degrees at 6 a.m. on Friday morning — that might require you to layer on a second, possibly even a third, turt in order to brave the glacial breezes.
Perhaps you are thinking that early November is a little too early to be pondering the wintry mix. Well, it is our unfortunate duty to remind you that last year's first winter storm, originally forecast as a measly inch of snow/rain/sleet/slush, absolutely obliterated our transportation infrastructure on November 15th. Despite being ostensibly overprepared for this weather event, city agencies found themselves kneecapped by 6 inches of snow and unable to sufficiently salt the streets, which in turn translated to absolutely insane traffic that trapped commuters in cars and buses for hours. After the fact, the city vowed to initiate a FULL SNOW RESPONSE anytime the forecast called for 2 or more inches of wintertime precipitation; I cannot say whether or not this first, hypothetical snowfall would meet that threshold — the NWS isn't projecting precipitation figures yet — but I think we'd all feel more comfortable if the Sanitation Department would show us all of its salt again. Just a nice saline security blanket to help you sleep soundly when the sun goes to bed at 4:49 p.m. today.