What to Know
- More than 9 inches of snow had fallen in parts of New York City by lunchtime, with a foot-plus forecast for parts of Long Island and NJ
- Schools were closed in New York City Thursday, but Mayor de Blasio said he expects schools to reopen Friday
- The snow had stopped falling by Thursday evening, but it will leave behind brutal cold and wind chills below zero on Friday
A vicious winter storm assaulted the tri-state area with fast-falling snow and whipping winds, dumping record amounts of snow for this date across the region.
Central Park got 9.8 inches of snow, while JFK Airport saw 8 inches. Islip measured 15.8 inches of snow, Newark 8.4 inches and Bridgeport 8 inches. All set new records for snowfall on the date of Jan. 4.
All blizzard and winter warnings for the region had been canceled by 7:30 p.m., after a full day of a nor'easter pelting the region. As the storm intensified Thursday morning, Gov. Cuomo declared a state of emergency for New York City, Westchester and Long Island, and he pleaded with people to stay off the roads for the evening commute.
More than 13 inches of snow had fallen in parts of Queens by 3 p.m., exceeding the initially forecast 6 to 8 inches for the overall city with hours of storm to go. Parts of New Jersey and Long Island saw even more, with 18 inches recorded in Ocean County's Brick Township by 4 p.m. and over 14 inches in Sayville in Suffolk County. Wind gusts nearing and even topping 60 mph made for blizzard-like conditions from New York to the Jersey Shore, cutting power to thousands of people and forcing JFK and LaGuardia airports to temporarily suspend all flights. Check the latest snow totals in your neighborhood here.
The snow began to overspread the city as the morning rush began. By 7:30 a.m., a layer of white coated pedestrian areas in Times Square. The live camera shook from intense winds and traffic appeared to be moving slowly. The snow fell, heavy at times, through most of the day on Thursday, and the evening commute was expected to be especially perilous as mounds of dirty, shin-high snow build up in the middle of major thoroughfares and scrape the undercarriages of vehicles. See the latest on mass transit here.
.@NYCSchools will be closed tomorrow, Thursday, January 4th, due to the snowstorm.— Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) January 3, 2018
All New York City schools were closed Thursday, and other schools across the tri-state reported closings and delays as well. Schools will be open Friday, and all programs and activities will be held as scheduled, the Department of Education said, confirming Mayor de Blasio's earlier statement that he expected schools to be open. All field trips requiring yellow school buses, however, will be canceled.
Alternate-side parking is suspended in the city through Saturday, though meter rules remain in effect. The mayor and city sanitation chief both say that with snowfall rates of up to 3 inches an hour possible and a deep freeze ahead, New Yorkers should not expect to see blacktop on most streets for days.
Wind gusts, though not as strong as along coastal areas, caused power outages throughout the region.
The flakes tapered off by Thursday evening, but even with the snow moving out, wind gusts of 40 mph or more will lead to areas of blowing and drifting snow.
It turns brutally cold behind this system. Forecasters say high temperatures Friday and Saturday will top out at about 14 degrees. Storm Team 4 says actual temps in the city could hit -2 on Friday, with -15 north and west. Dangerously cold wind chills as low as 30 below zero will cause frostbite in as little as 10 minutes to exposed skin, especially Friday night into Saturday. Wind chills could range from 25 to 35 below zero Friday night into Saturday.