I was sitting in a meeting around 3 p.m. when everyone’s phones began buzzing simultaneously. Alerts rang out all around G/O Media’s offices as the National Weather Service blasted out a snow squall warning.
Now look, as Earther’s resident weather dude, I knew this warning had to mean business. Sending a push alert to millions of people in and around New York warning of an intense snowstorm is just a bad look if shit isn’t about to go down. But looking at the sunny sky and taking a peek at the sparse radar, I couldn’t help but question the emergency alert system’s wisdom just a little bit. Could it really be that bad?
As my meeting wrapped, my wife texted to ask if it was squalling in my offices. It was, in fact, not squalling. The sun was even visible to the south over the hellscape that is Times Square. But a few minutes later, a hush fell over sky. One flake, then two. Then, within minutes, whiteout conditions. Those savvier than I, the squall believers among us, had set up their phones to capture a timelapse of the incoming squall. And those videos do not disappoint, showing the sheet of clouds and snow racing across the Hudson River and into Manhattan like a scene out of The Day After Tomorrow. Seriously, look at this shit:
The snow squalls will continue to advance southeastward over the course of the evening. Whiteout conditions could pose a risk for commuters as could gusty winds.
While the arrival of the squall was a rush of wintry excitement, what comes after might not be so welcome. The squall was essentially the demarcation line of a cold front. In its wake, Arctic air will plunge into the region sending temperatures plummeting.
Lows in the teens for New York City are expected tonight with wind chill values even colder. Further north, temperatures and the corresponding wind chills will be even lower. The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill advisory for parts of the Hudson River Valley and western Massachusetts and Connecticut where it could feel as cold as minus-25 degrees Fahrenheit. I’m not sure if the feeling of squallmania is enough to keep you warm, but hang onto it if you can. Or just imagine you’re in Australia.