Record-breaking freezing temperatures and biting winds had much of the northeastern United States bundling up this weekend and the brutal weather was blamed for a deadly interstate pileup.
The coldest temperatures of the season blew into the region on Saturday with gusts that created dangerous wind chills, well below zero.
New York City faced its coldest Valentine’s Day since 1916, with a record-breaking minus-1 degrees in Central Park. A record was also broken at John F Kennedy International Airport 1 degrees. In Newark, New Jersey, and at LaGuardia International Airport, temperatures tied records at zero and 1 degrees, respectively.
Benedikt Vom Orde and Julia Felte, tourists from Essen, Germany, walk along Park Avenue in New York during a bitter cold spell on Saturday
People in Times Square wrapped up and trying to keep warm on Saturday as windchill in New York City reached as low as minus-36
Street photographers brave the cold to photograph guests arriving to the Alexander Wang Fall 2016 show during New York Fashion Week on Saturday
People shield themselves from the wind as a woman leaves after the Christian Siriano Fall 2016 show during New York Fashion Week on Saturday
People walk down 8th avenue in New York on Saturday. Temperatures in the city broke Valentine’s Day records on Sunday, reaching minus-one in Central Park
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio warned New Yorkers to take ‘extreme precautions’ over the weekend, which could see the coldest air mass of the winter
A fountain foze over in Bryant Park as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told city residents to stay indoors and to be careful of the cold
A lake in Central Park froze over as temperatures in the park reached minus-1 degrees on Sunday morning
‘These temperatures can be life threatening – especially for seniors, infants and people with medical conditions,’ New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said. Stay indoors and take care of each other, he counseled.
‘It’s so important to take this seriously, to stay indoors to the maximum extent possible, go out for as little time as possible. Do not have skin exposed. These are tough conditions,’ de Blasio told reporters. ‘Be really careful.’
He ordered construction crews to put cranes into secure positions following the collapse of a huge crane in high winds earlier this month, which killed one person and injured three.
In Watertown, New York, which is on Lake Eerie near the Canadian border, temperatures reached as low as minus-37 degrees on Sunday, with wind chills reaching minus-45, the National Weather Service reported. It appears that was the coldest city in the state on Sunday morning.
Through noon on Sunday, the National Weather Service said, high winds could make it feel as cold as minus-25 to minus-36 in New York City and parts of Connecticut and New Jersey and as cold as minus-35 degrees around Boston.
Boston also broke records on Sunday, with temperatures dropping to minus-8 degrees, making it the coldest Valentine’s Day since 1957, according to the Boston Globe.
At Boston’s Pine Street Inn 485-bed homeless shelter on Saturday night, workers were finding cots, mats and even chairs to accommodate the roughly 600 people they were expecting tonight, said spokeswoman Barbara Trevisan.
New York won’t be the only state hit with a chilly Valentine’s Day. A cold blast is expected to hit much of the East Coast for a freezing weekend
People wait to run in Cupid’s Undie Run to raise money for charity on Saturday in Washington, DC, where the high was just 20 degrees
Despite the cold temperatures, many Cupid’s Undie Run participants appeared to be enjoying the run through Washington, DC on Saturday
Some people decided to bundle up a little during the run, in which people don their Valentine’s-themed underwear and raise funds for the Children’s Tumor Foundation.
‘No one will be turned out for lack of space,’ Trevisan said.
In Boston, some hurried through their mornings to get outdoor chores done before the worst cold set in.
‘Right now I’m going to drink a coffee’ to stay warm, Carmen Pichente, 40, said on Saturday en route to her job at a Boston restaurant. ‘Tomorrow, I’m going to stay at home all day.’
Others brushed it off.
‘It’s nothing. I lived in Boston all my life,’ said Eddie Brown, 51, a delivery truck driver out on his rounds. Asked why he wasn’t wearing a coat, Brown replied, ‘I got long underwear on.’
Bridgeport, Connecticut saw temperatures as low as minus-6 on Sunday, breaking last year’s record of 3 degrees.
Police said weather was a factor in the pileup Saturday in Pennsylvania that saw dozens of vehicles – tractor-trailers, box trucks, cars and SUVs – tangled together across three lanes and the snow-covered median of Interstate 78.
A snow squall appears to have moved through at the time of the crash. Three people were killed and dozens sent to hospitals.
In Virginia Beach, Virginia, The Westin Virginia Beach Town Center’s fountain froze over as temperatures in the area hit 20 degrees on Sunday
A huge 50-car pile-up shut down a highway near Fredericksburg, Pennsylvania, after a ‘total whiteout’ and severe winds caused drivers to lose control of their vehicles
The mayhem (pictured) came as the north east was hit by an arctic blast freezing temperatures and biting windchill struck
The smash (wreckage pictured) came after snowstorm alerts were issued for the Philadelphia area, as well as swathes of the north east of the United States
The bone-chilling cold canceled horse racing at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in West Virginia and at New York’s Aqueduct Racetrack.
The Central Park Ice Festival, which was to feature ice-carving artists and music, was shelved, becoming the second event this year in Central Park to be dampened by the weather. Last month a free winter sports day called Winter Jam was canceled because of Storm Jonas.
But even with the freezing temperatures, tourists cloaked in heavy layers wandered over the Brooklyn Bridge to Manhattan, snapping photos.
Deliverymen cycled through the windy streets, their hands covered with plastic bags, and garage employees changed tires.
And the frigid temperatures didn’t keep hundreds of people from jumping into the Atlantic Ocean as part of a Jersey shore resort town’s annual Polar Bear Plunge.
In Washington, DC, where temperatures hit a milder 14 degrees on Sunday, people gathered for the city’s annual Cupid’s Undie Run to raise money for charity on Saturday, when temperatures hit 20 degrees.
Valentine’s Day plans also didn’t seem to be stalled, either.
Nic Faitos, owner of Starbright Floral Design, in New York, was anticipating about 2,000 deliveries this weekend. He said his business double-wraps all the flowers to protect them.
‘If they fall below about 25 degrees they will start to freeze. The petals will become completely wilted,’ he said.
Jake Cote, a carrier with the United States Postal Service, delivers mail along in Utica, NY, on Thursday
Shar Horton, of Syracuse, scrapes ice from the windows of her car visiting a friend in Utica, NY, on Thursday
Firefighters from the Erie, Pennsylvania, Bureau of Fire prepare to leave the scene after checking on the occupants of a sedan that spun out in snowy conditions on Wednesday on the Interstate 79 northbound