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Big Apple Hit With Record Setting Cold Snap

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TWC News: Big Apple Hit With Record Setting Cold Snap
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A blast of arctic air has brought some of the lowest temperatures in nearly a decade to New York City.

Temperatures in Central Park fell as low as 4 degrees, making it the coldest day in New York City since January 28, 2005.

The old record at Central Park for January 7 was 6 degrees, set in 1896.

Records were also set at LaGuardia Airport, where the low temperature was also 4 degrees, and at John F. Kennedy International Airport, where the low was 6 degrees.

Temperatures from 8 a.m. Monday to 8 a.m. Tuesday fell by more than 50 degrees.

An unstable jet stream is to blame for the quick changes.

The jet stream steers storms and air masses. It usually remains in one pattern for a week to 10 days, but that hasn't been the case this winter. That's because the polar vortex, a huge circulating mass of air normally found at the poles, has migrated south. This caused record lows throughout the country and dropped temperatures in the city from 55 degrees on Monday morning to 4 degrees on Tuesday morning.

It's been decades since temperatures bounced around the way they have so far this winter.

On December 6, temperatures were in the 60s and 30s on the same day.

Temperatures hit the 70s on December 22, but just four days later, it didn't get out of the teens.

The up-and-down isn't over yet, as temperatures are expected to rise to the 50s this upcoming weekend.

The city said that the cold weather sent several people to the hospital.

Between midnight and 3 p.m. Tuesday, when temperatures were at their coldest, seven people were treated for hypothermia, two people were treated for frostbite and 20 people were treated for injuries they sustained from slipping and falling.

One of the city's coldest spots Tuesday was the Staten Island Ferry Terminal in Lower Manhattan, where commuters rushed to get to their destinations.

"It took my breath as soon as I got out. I had to stop for a few minutes because it just took my breath," said one commuter.

"It is extremely cold. I went out this morning even with my gloves in my fingers were completely frozen," said another commuter.

"It is just ridiculous. One day it's hot. Next day it's cold. I can't even explain, I can't even feel my hands and they're in my pockets," said a third commuter.

With temperatures dipping to dangerous levels, the New York City Rescue Mission on Lafayette Street turned itself into a warming center Tuesday.

"Today versus other days, being the inclement weather, we open up our chapel doors and we give our guests hot chocolate, we let them eat here. We usually don't serve lunch to the outside," said Pedro Rodriguez, a chef with the New York City Rescue Mission. "But when it does get cold, we do open our doors and we do feed the outside guests."

"Thanks the help of the mission, we were able to have a warm place to stay," said Joseph Diaby, a client of the New York City Rescue Mission.

The rescue mission says it has served the needs of the poor and homeless for 142 years.

If you'd like to donate or lend a hand, officials there say they could use gloves, scarves, hats, coats, socks and underwear to distribute.

For more information on the NYC Rescue Mission, visit nycrescue.org.

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