60 MPH Wind Gusts Possible as Arctic Snap Hits Tri-State Along With Snow

A brutal arctic snap is punishing the tri-state region and Storm Team 4 warns residents to expect single-digit lows, dangerous wind gusts and more snow.

Temperatures in the city cold dip to an 11-year low even as a winter storm sweeps through the area.

The National Weather Service added that the city could get up to seven inches of snow over night and into Sunday.

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The National Weather Service expanded its high wind warning to New York City Saturday afternoon, warning that winds were expected to hit 30 to 40 mph with gusts up to 60 mph between midnight Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. The warning also was in effect for northeast New Jersey and Nassau County.

The winds could knock down power lines and push large vehicles off course, the weather service warned. Snow that fell earlier could also be kicked up by the winds, reducing visibility. On Long Island, utility company PSEG had crews on alert, the company said Saturday. As a precaution, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey instituted special speed restrictions on some bridges.

Snow started falling in the region Saturday afternoon, with a few inches expected to hit the city. To the east, conditions were expected to be much worse. High winds were expected to create blizzard conditions across eastern Long Island, and residents there were advised to avoid traveling Sunday morning.

The weather service instituted a blizzard warning in eastern Suffolk County. High wind and wind chill warnings were in effect Saturday evening through Monday evening in areas of New York and New Jersey.

Residents got a dose of ice on Friday as frigid winds hit the region, with wind chills making it feel like 9 degrees below zero in the five boroughs and as much as 35 degrees below zero in parts of Ulster and Sullivan counties.

Saturday, with its expected high of 32 degrees, offered a brief respite from the intense cold. The snow that was expected to follow Saturday into Sunday could total 2 to 5 inches in the city and 5 to 8 inches on eastern Long Island, according to Storm Team 4.

Storm Team 4 warned that strong winds could present significant dangers throughout the region. The winds are expected to be the most powerful along the coast and on Long Island, where there is a particular danger of power outages. Suffolk County residents could experience visibility of just one-quarter mile.

After the storm passes, bitterly cold air is expected to rush into the region, creating a risk of frostbite and hypothermia for those exposed to the elements, Storm Team 4 says. The wind chill may make it feel like 15 below during the day on Sunday, 30 below Sunday evening, and as low as 35 below Monday morning.

Mayor Bill de Blasio called the weekend forecast "dangerous" and urged New Yorkers to stay indoors. Gov. Andrew Cuomo encouraged residents to take precautions.  

In New Jersey's Essex County, which includes the state's largest city of Newark, officials issued a Code Blue alert. The alerts were implemented as part of an initiative to coordinate efforts between the county and community-based organizations to get homeless people shelter from extreme weather. Libraries and school buildings turn into warming stations during the day and shelter hours are extended.

On Monday, the low could hit 1 degree in Central Park, marking the city's coldest recorded temperature since January 2004.

The cold snap should break Tuesday, as temperatures climb back up near the freezing mark.

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