New York

NYC Thanksgiving Bitterly Cold, But Spare a Thought for the People of 1901

What to Know

  • Temperatures on Thanksgiving could set record lows
  • The mercury is expected to stay in the 20s and a wind chill will make it feel like the teens, forecasters say
  • But on the bright side, it should be clear and sunny for travelers

Nope, it wasn't your imaginationg. Thursday's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade really was the coldest on record.

Temperatures dropped to a low of 20 in New York City on Thursday -- a tie for the coldest November 22 on record, the National Weather Service said. It was not the coldest Thanksgiving on record, however. On the Thanksgiving of 1901, over a century ago, the city saw a record low of 19 degrees and a high of 26 degrees. 

Brrr! Take a Closer Look at What Could Become the Coldest Thanksgiving Day in NYC Since 1901

Storm Team 4 said temperatures were meant to stay around the 20s, with a wind chill making it feel as low as zero. Thursday's high was projected to be 28 degrees. Prolonged exposure to cold can lead to frostbite and hypothermia. The city's Office of Emergency Management has issued an alert for the extreme cold. 

This could be one of the coldest Thanksgivings ever in New York City, and organizers of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade are preparing for winds. Roseanne Colletti reports.

"This Thanksgiving Day’s weather is expected to be frigid and potentially very dangerous," said Acting Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot. "Take care to bundle up warmly if you are planning on attending the parade, and if you or your loved ones have symptoms of hypothermia, like intense shivering or dizziness, seek medical attention or call 911."

The City of Newark also activated a "Code Blue" for Wednesday night and opened warming centers for residents.

There will be an unprecedented new security measure at this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Marc Santia gets an exclusive look at the final dress rehearsal before the parade.

The arctic air arrived late Wednesday, leading to several days of dry and bitter cold conditions. A few chances for more flakes before the deep freeze arrives is possible as well. On the bright side, there should be clear skies and sunshine for the big travel day. 

The tri-state begins to thaw a bit over the weekend as highs soar back into the low the 50s, Storm Team 4 says. However, the trade off will be a chance for rain showers late Saturday into Sunday. 

Historic Images of NYC Snowstorms

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