Chill Grips Tri-State on Coldest Valentine’s Day on Record

UPDATE: After Coldest Valentine's Day on Record, Snow, Wintry Mix Muck Up Roads, Delay Travel

Celebrating couples will have to cuddle extra close to escape the bitter chill of the coldest Valentine's Day on record.

Temperatures shattered records at locations throughout the tri-state on Sunday, including Central Park, Islip, Bridgeport and John F. Kennedy International Airport.

In Central Park, the mercury dipped to 1 degree below zero on Sunday morning - the lowest Feb. 14 temperature since record-keeping began in the 1860s. The previous record, set in 1916, was 2 degrees.

Biting winds and bitter conditions made it feel even colder. At one point Sunday morning, it felt like 19 degrees below zero in Central Park. In Monticello, perhaps the chilliest spot in the tri-state, it felt like 33 degrees below zero.

It was also the coldest New York City day in more than 20 years. Jan. 27, 1994, was the last time that metro temperatures sank to zero or below. It was the coldest February day since 1962.

A wind chill warning was in effect until noon Sunday for areas north of the city. A gale warning was in effect for all local waterways until 10 a.m. Sunday.

An approaching storm system will likely bring snow to the area late Monday, President's Day. Storm Team 4 predicts there could be 1 to 3 inches of accumulation, but the real concern late Monday and early Tuesday is the possibility of freezing rain. Minor coastal flooding may occur.

Warming centers have been set up in Jersey City, Nassau County, Newark and Westchester for those without a place to go during the brutal freeze. 

The New York City Buildings Department ordered all crane operations suspended on Saturday. Last week's deadly crane collapse in Tribeca prompted Mayor Bill de Blasio to implement new crane protocols requiring that tall crawler cranes now go into safety mode whenever the forecast predicts winds of 20 mph or more. The previous threshold was 30 mph or more.

The department has also issued an advisory urging property owners, builders and contractors to secure any loose material, equipment and scaffolding in preparation for the high winds.

Meanwhile, New Yorkers are worried about warming their homes in the bitter cold. The city's 311 hot line has seen a spike in calls this week about no heat or hot water, according to the Department of Housing Preservation and Development: on Tuesday, there were over 1,200 calls, Wednesday saw 1,100 calls and then a jump to 1,800 calls on Thursday. By 4 p.m. Friday, there were 1,850 complaints.

Seastreak Ferry suspended service for Saturday and Sunday because of the conditions.

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