The nor'easter that hit New York City and surrounding areas on Friday and Saturday will leave behind plenty of snow to clean up, along with frigid conditions that could lead to icing over the next few days.
Garett Argianas, a meteorologist, said temperatures will feel like they're in the single digits on Sunday. This can make snow and ice difficult to remove and leave those outdoors without proper protection vulnerable to frostbite.
"A cold day is ahead on Sunday. We're looking at temperatures that should make it up into the 20s. And it's going to be breezy," Argianas said.
Temperatures won't be above freezing until Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.
The plummeting temperatures will pose a danger to people exposed to the elements, said Jackie Bray, the state's Commissioner of the Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services.
"It is going to be very cold [Saturday night] after the storm, and through the day on Sunday and into Monday," Bray said at a press conference with Gov. Kathy Hochul Saturday. "We're going to see wind chill in this area drop to between zero and -10." People need to stay alert for signs of hypothermia and to "cover all of your exposed skin if you're going to go out," Bray said.
The city and Suffolk County have opened warming shelters, which can be found by calling 311. Nassau County residents who need a warming shelter should call 866-927-6233.
Hochul said the below-freezing temperatures also mean fully clearing the snow and ice from roadways will take longer.
"The ice will take longer to go away because of the frozen temperatures, the frigid temperatures and again, wind chills of zero to -10 are dangerous for people but they're also very challenging for people to salt and get the roads safe again so they're not slippery," Hochul said. "We're not going to be out of this for a number of days."
Mayor Eric Adams said Saturday that the city's mass transit systems were running close to normal. The Long Island Rail Road was suspended Saturday morning but MTA CEO and Chair Janno Lieber said operations will resume Sunday. Expect delays.
Roads will be salted and brined in anticipation for the Monday commute, Bray said.
"We're going to have state crews and I'm sure the local and the county crews out over the course of Sunday and Monday continuing to brine the roads and salt the roads. We do expect the temps on Monday to get into that sort of mid to upper 20s which will help with the salting and brine," she said. "So we'll have crews just stay out there until we're confident that the roads are not only passable and clear, but also that we don't have an ice threat coming.
While power outages were limited to fewer than 500 households in the entire state Saturday, officials said the cold temperatures may still cause some outages to come if trees fall under the weight of ice into power lines.
Kathryn Garcia, the state's Director of State Operations and former New York City Sanitation commissioner, said residents who don't have heat should seek out warming shelters rather than using dangerous methods like stoves or unattended space heaters. The deadly Twin Parks complex fire on January 9th that killed 17 people has been blamed on a malfunctioning space heater.
"If you are in some place that is too cold, do not use an unattended space heater. Do not use your stove to heat your home," Garcia said. "Please reach out to 311 or to the phone number in Nassau County to make sure that you can get to a warming center."