City breaks 118-year-old record as New Yorkers endure freezing weather and below-zero wind chills

Frigid temperatures broke a 118-year-old record Tuesday as New Yorkers endured the effects of a nationwide "polar vortex." Credit: Timothy Clary/AFP/Getty Images
Frigid temperatures broke a 118-year-old record Tuesday as New Yorkers endured the effects of a nationwide “polar vortex.”
Credit: Timothy Clary/AFP/Getty Images

Frigid temperatures broke a 118-year-old record Tuesday as New Yorkers endured the effects of a nationwide “polar vortex.”

Temperatures dropped to a low of 4 degrees in the city, according to the National Weather Service.

The previous record for Jan. 7 was set in 1896, when temperatures reached 6 degrees.

In Central Park, that record was broken before 7 a.m., when temperatures reached 5 degrees and continued to drop.

Wind chills reached minus 17 degrees just before 9 a.m.

A wind chill advisory was issued for the five boroughs until Tuesday night.

Wind chills between minus 15 and minus 20 degrees can cause frostbite in just 30 minutes. Prolonged exposure to the temperatures reached Tuesday can also cause hypothermia.

Still, as the National Weather Service noted, New York has survived a lot worse.

The coldest temperatures ever recorded in the city were felt Feb. 9, 1934, when the low hit minus 15 degrees.

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter @AnnaESanders


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