CENTRAL PARK — A thaw and warmer rains will ease the icy conditions that plagued travelers around the city Sunday — but the break from the bitter weather won't last long, meteorologists warned.
Accuweather was predicting temperatures to reach a high of 55 Monday, then plummet by as much as 47 degrees to hit 8 degrees — not including wind chill.
"The best advice is to stay put and to stay inside" on Monday night, Tom Kines, a senior meteorologist at Accuweather told DNAinfo.com New York. "If you do have to venture out, this is the type of weather you have to keep your body protected.
"You run the risk of frostbite, being out there. You have to cover up your skin."
The springlike feel of Monday morning was expected to give way to an Arctic blast by dinnertime.
"It’s going to be a little balmy in the morning, then the cold air rushes in [Monday] afternoon," Kines said. Still, he said he didn't expect the risk of icy conditions to be as great as it was in the city on Sunday.
"The wind will dry things out before temperatures get below freezing before it goes down," he said.
On Sunday, warmer weather pushed thermometers to 45 degrees, removing some of the dangerously icy morning conditions and freezing rains that sent a Delta flight sliding off a JFK Airport runway and led to the closure of the Staten Island Expressway after numerous accidents.
Yet a day later, the wind chill was expected to reach minus 8 degrees Monday night, amid high winds of up to 40 mph, according to the National Weather Service.
Kines said Central Park was predicted to reach 8 degrees as a record-challenging low Tuesday, and the outlying neighborhoods would likely sink to zero. Highs Tuesday were forecast at 13 degrees.
He said he doesn't expect treacherous roadways on Tuesday, but said commuters who drive may encounter another type of trouble. "Those that have cars that are left outside, Tuesday morning I think your battery is going to be tested," Kines said.
Temperatures were expected to bottom-out on Tuesday, and a steady rise in mercury would return the city to the 20s on Wednesday, and then to the 30s for Thursday and Friday, Kines said.