Heading to New York City to celebrate New Year’s Eve? If you decide to venture out to Times Square to watch the ball drop, prepare yourself for what will be the coldest countdowns in 55 years. Bundling up to go outside is an understatement — get ready for some bone-chilling weather. The wind chill is expected to be below zero when the clock strikes 12 as we usher in an extremely cold first day of 2018.
Forecasters expect New Yorkers, and the millions of visitors who travel to the city to ring in the New Year, to face 10-degree weather on Sunday, with a wind chill of negative 4 around midnight. According to the Weather Channel, the last time it was this cold on New Year’s Eve was 1962 when it was 11 degrees during the ball drop, but the coldest night on record was 1 degree in 1917.
As a side note, if the negative wind chill in New York City sounds bad, people who are celebrating in some areas of nearby New England may want to stay inside. ABC News reports that wind chills of minus 30 to 40 degrees are expected on Sunday night.
Although it won’t be 30 below zero in New York City, the danger of a negative 4 wind chill is something you should not ignore. If you are heading outside to walk around the city, and plan to stay in Times Square for the ball drop, you will need to protect your skin so you don’t get frostbite. Wearing layers of clothing is a start.
Here’s what you need to know before you brave the elements.
The National Weather Service reports that even above-freezing temperatures, when mixed with wind, can cause frostbite within half an hour. And with forecasters expecting below zero wind chills in New York City on Sunday night, that means you will have to keep as much of your skin covered as possible while you wait for the Times Square ball to drop.
Newsweek reports that your hands, feet, cheeks, nose, and ears should all be covered because they are “most prone to frostbite.” Signs of frostbite include pain or prickling that progresses to numbness, or a burning sensation and swelling “that could last for weeks.”
Follow the Weather Channel on Twitter (@weatherchannel) for the latest New Year’s Eve weather updates.