NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Temperatures will creep back to the freezing mark on Friday, but there’s a catch – a band of snow will pass through the area and could cause problems for the morning commute.

The high on Friday is expected to top out at the freezing mark of 32 degrees, CBS2’s Lonnie Quinn reported. Such conditions will feel like a heat wave compared with conditions Thursday.

READ MORE: NYPD: Wounded Officer Wilbert Mora Transferred To NYU Langone Medical Center, Still In Critical Condition

On Thursday morning, the air temperature dropped to 8 degrees in Central Park, with a wind chill making it feel like minus 10. In Monticello, the wind chill felt like minus 23.

But the snow Friday morning could cause some problems.

As CBS2 Chief Meteorologist and Weather Producer Giorgio Panetta reported, an Alberta Clipper was set to swoop into the area on Friday morning, and was expected to dump up to an inch of snow or even an inch and a half for some areas north and east.

The light snow showers will hit just in time for the Friday morning rush. The greatest snow totals are expected mainly from the city on northward into the Hudson Valley and Connecticut.

The New York City Department of Sanitation has issued a snow alert for Friday morning. That means they’ll have salt spreaders, plows and crews ready to remove any snow that may fall in the city.

Meanwhile, anyone going upstate on Friday is advised take special note. On Wednesday evening, Gov. Andrew Cuomo activated the New York State Emergency Operations Center for a lake effect storm that could bring 2 to 3 feet of snow south and east of Buffalo, and at least 3 feet of snow north of Syracuse through Watertown.

Parts of the New York State Thruway in Western New York will be closed as a precaution for the weather. The mainline Thruway (Interstate 90) from Exit 46 (Henrietta) to Exit 61 (Shortman Road), and the Niagara Section (I-190) between I-90 and Exit 16 (I-290) was to be closed to tractor trailers starting at 9 p.m. Thursday, according to Cuomo’s office.

Starting at midnight, the same sections will be closed to all traffic.

CHECK: Forecast | Alerts | Cold Weather Safety Guide

On Thursday afternoon, it was colder in Jersey City, New Jersey than in Anchorage, Alaska, CBS2’s Andrea Grymes reported. Temperatures in the Garden State – as well as New York – hovered in the upper teens to near 20.

As CBS2’s Matt Kozar reported, the arctic air was so severe that a section of the Hudson River froze over. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority shut down Hudson River Ferry service between Haverstraw and Ossining Thursday night and Friday because of icy conditions.

As CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock reported, the big coats and hats everyone was wearing on Thursday were cumbersome, and not always exactly fashionable.

But everyday New Yorkers advised focusing on function over fashion when it comes to bundling up. CBS2’s Hazel Sanchez put on electric boots with three levels of heat as she reported on people’s winter attire Thursday afternoon.

Melvin Neuble of the East Village went out wearing layer upon layer upon layer.

“I got another hoodie on. I got long johns, shirt,” he said. “I’m warm.”

Rudell Clark, also of the East Village, went even further.

“I got two pants on, I got one in my book bag. I got one, two three — three coats, two sweaters and one leather jacket under this,” he said.

And to save face – literally – Clark put on a neoprene full face mask.

“It does do the job actually,” he said. “And being a New Yorker, you’re always prepared for the worst.”

Well, sometimes the worst does leave people unprepared. A subway glitch left John Cucuzza of Park Slope, Brooklyn walking 35 blocks to his final destination, and he left home gloveless and dressed for fall instead of winter.

“I should’ve had some warmer socks, and definitely the gloves. You definitely need gloves today. And I have a scarf,” he said. “(But) no, I’m not wearing a sweater. I know. I should’ve had a sweater as well. Like again, I wasn’t dressed appropriately today, but I will tomorrow.”

Deliveryman Reggie Anderson said cold weather tolerance comes with experience – something he has a lot of in working outdoors. And of course, he had plenty of layers on too.

“A fleece, and just a North Face, and long johns and a long shirt,” he said, adding that the attire was working fine.

But even infinite layers could not rid firefighters of the challenges they faced on the coldest day of the year so far. Fighting an early-morning fire in Jersey City had fire crews slipping and sliding and dealing with failing equipment.

“It’s very difficult to work when your feet, your hands are freezing, and even when you get wet, your gear is frozen, and it’s difficult to move around,” one firefighter said.

People with no option but to fight the freeze Thursday were taking their well-being seriously. One UPS worker said she was wearing eight layers of clothing – including two heat-trapping shirts.

“I’m doing fine actually; just my hands are cold,” she said.

But some food vendors told CBS2’s Sanchez that extra clothing and a space heater were not enough when the wind chill dipped below zero.

“Much clothes you wear, much cold you still feel, so it doesn’t matter what you wear or what you do,” said Hassan Hassan of Bensonhurst, Brooklyn.

Victor Reyes didn’t think it was too cold to ride his bicycle Thursday, and said the secret to survival is all in our heads.

“It’s a state of mind. You just have to be warm. Bundle up. Eighty percent of the heat escapes through your head,” said Reyes, of Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn. “And after a day or two, you adjust.”

Actually, the claim that we lose most of our body heat through our heads is a myth, but that keeping the head covered is still a must — and everyone walking outside in New York City Thursday knew why. When asked to describe the weather Thursday in one word, Diana Facci of Port Washington, Long Island, her choice was “icy.”

And icy it was. The fountain outside The Sheffield condo tower on 57th Street was frozen solid with caution tape around it, and the stunning centerpiece fountain in Bryant Park was transformed into a cascade of icicles.

“It’s definitely a sight to see,” one man told 1010 WINS’ Al Jones. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”

One man, Brian Hester of Wayne, New Jersey, decided to take a shard of ice from the fountain and make his hot Starbucks coffee into iced coffee.

But many others preferred just to cover up from head-to-toe, some with only their eyes exposed.

“Like an ice box, like you’re living inside a freezer,” Richard Gonzalez, of Sunset Park, Brooklyn, told CBS2’s Janelle Burrell.

“I feel like my bones are about to fall off picking up garbage bags,” one sanitation worker told 1010 WINS’ John Montone.

“The sun makes you feel like we’re getting somewhere,” Caroline Obosky said, who was out running in Central Park.

Obosky told WCBS 880’s Peter Haskell despite the cold, the sun made her run that much better.

READ MORE: Nets Lose Shootout In Minneapolis, Fall To 2-2 Since Durant Injury

Some NJ TRANSIT passengers were left stomping their feet on train platforms in the biting cold after an Amtrak overhead wire problem slowed trains.

“It’s freezing out here,” Elizabeth resident Nadia Fuentes said.

At the Stamford, Connecticut train station, a line of cabs didn’t last long Thursday morning, WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane reported.

“It’s too cold,” one driver said. “They couldn’t walk.”

Staying Safe In The Cold

Officials across the Tri-State area warned residents Thursday about staying safe and warm during the bitter blast.

As winds pick up, heat gets carried away from the body more quickly, driving both skin temperature and eventually the internal body temperature down.

Frostbite can also set in before people realize. Dr. Yves Duroseau, chairman of emergency department at Lenox Hill Hospital, said it’s critical to keep your extremities covered.

“Especially the digits that don’t get good circulation, so your fingers and your toes are the first and then your ears,” Duroseau told CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock. “So wearing gloves, double socks if you need to, a hat — anything you can do to keep yourself warm.”

Duroseau warned that if you don’t keep warmed and covered, you may be at serious risk.

“You can lose sensation. You can see a color discoloration in the fingers. Sometimes you actually have pain before then you lose sensation,” Doruseau said. “Very simply, you can just pick your fingertips and see if the blood returns. If it doesn’t, or is delayed, that can be an indication.”

Children and the elderly are most susceptible to dangerously low wind chills because circulation to the extremities isn’t optimal.

Duroseau advised that if you experience symptoms of frostbite, it is best to go into a warm environment and let your extremities heat up naturally rather than rubbing them together or other methods.

Earlier this week, Mayor Bill de Blasio urged residents to prepare for the cold weather.

“If you can avoid traveling on our roads and stay indoors, do so,” he said. “If you must go outside, dress warmly and take extreme precaution.”

The mayor reminded residents earlier this week to watch over neighbors and relatives who may be at risk. He also asked that service providers check on their clients.

The city’s emergency weather procedures include increased homeless outreach.

You are also urged to call 911 if you see someone with signs of hypothermia. The symptoms include confusion, shivering, slurred speech and drowsiness.

For more information, click here.

If you know someone who’s vulnerable and lacking heat, help them get to a warm place. Notify the building manager and/or call 311 to get heat restored.

New York officials also urged residents across the state to take precautions against the freezing temperatures.

The Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services said residents should also remain aware of the potential for carbon monoxide poisoning from automotive exhaust, home heating systems and obstructed chimneys as well as poorly vented generators, kerosene heaters, gas grills and other items used for cooking and heating when used improperly during the winter months.

Additionally, DHSES said residents should never run a generator indoors and every home should have a carbon monoxide detector installed.

The Red Cross warns that cold temperatures also increase the risk of house fires.

For those cranking up the heat, be sure to keep areas around heaters clear of any clutter, turn off space heaters and make sure fireplace embers are extinguished before going to bed or leaving the house and never use a stove or oven to heat your home.

Some officials in New Jersey have empowered law enforcement to move homeless people off the streets and into shelters.

In Connecticut, a cold-weather protocol activated Tuesday by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy directed state agencies to coordinate with the 211 hotline and the network of shelters to make sure the state’s most vulnerable citizens are protected from the cold weather.

Under the severe cold-weather protocol the state monitors capacity at shelters across Connecticut and works with community-based providers to help find shelter space for those who need it.

Keeping Your Pets Warm

The frigid conditions can also be dangerous to your pets.

Without the proper insulated shelter, pets need to be inside in these dangerous temperatures, said Suffolk County SPCA Chief Roy Gross.

“Obviously, they can get frostbite, become disoriented. They can freeze to death,” he told WCBS 880’s Mike Xirinachs. “It’s cold outside. If it will bother you, it will bother your animals.”

Young and older pets are especially vulnerable to the cold. Pet owners should never let their dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a storm. Dogs can lose their scent and easily become lost.

In Bergen County, New Jersey, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said it confiscated six dogs over the past two days because of owners who left them in the cold, Kozar reported.

Officials asked people to make reports to animal cruelty prevention authorities.

In Queens, the New York State Racing Association canceled live racing at Aqueduct Racetrack Thursday out of an abundance of caution for the safety of the jockeys and the horses.

For more cold weather pet safety tips, click here.

Check Out These Other Stories From
[display-posts category=”news” wrapper=”ul” posts_per_page=”4″]

MORE NEWS: NYPD Officer Jason Rivera's Wake To Be Held Thursday At St. Patrick's Cathedral

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)