What to Know
- Snow will start early Tuesday and become heavy during daybreak, lasting over the course of the day amid biting cold and strong winds
- 12 to 18 inches are expected, with up to 2 feet in some areas; wind gusts may top 40 mph, and on Long Island they could near 60 mph
- There's a blizzard warning for most of the tri-state, including NYC; a winter storm warning is in effect for parts of NJ and Long Island
UPDATE: Projected Snow Totals Dip as Models Shift West; Latest Forecast, Expectations Here
A blizzard warning covered most of the tri-state Tuesday morning and a state of emergency was declared in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut as a nor'easter moved in. The storm is expected to bury the region in at least a foot of snow over a dangerously cold, windy 24-hour period.
Storm Team 4 says the storm, which started late Monday, will likely be the biggest of the winter, and 12 to 18 inches of snow are expected to fall on the city and immediate surrounding areas. Some spots could get up to 2 feet. Wind gusts will frequently top 40 mph and could near 60 mph at times on Long Island.
Snow began falling in the tri-state shortly before midnight Monday and rapidly intensified shortly before dawn. Storm Team 4 says heavy snow will fall most of the day, with up to 3 inches of snow dropping every hour in the early afternoon. The dynamic storm may even feature thunder and lightning.
Mayor de Blasio declared a state of emergency for New York City beginning at midnight, and he announced that New York City public schools would be closed Tuesday. The same was expected for schools in New Jersey and Connecticut. Check school closings.
What to Expect: Storm Team 4 Breaks Down the Nor'easter
A state of emergency has also been declared for New York state beginning at midnight, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced. Non-essential state employees in areas being impacted by the storm are asked not to report to work Tuesday.
"Normally we have one region of the state affected and we deploy assets to the affected region," Cuomo said in a telephone news conference Monday afternoon. "This is a statewide situation, so we must deployed statewide which spreads our resources thin."
Two thousand National Guard troops are being called up across the state.
Similar states of emergency have been declared in New Jersey and Connecticut. A statewide travel ban will begin in Connecticut at 5 a.m., Gov. Malloy said.
MTA subway service above ground was suspended at 4 a.m. and Staten Island Railway service was also suspended. Buses were running at reduced levels and the NYCT said cancellations and suspensions were expected.
Metro-North will run on a reduced Sunday schedule Tuesday, with service on the New Cannan, Danbury, Waterbury and Wassaic branches, MTA said. LIRR would offer a normal weekday schedule, but cancellations are expected as conditions worsen. See latest transit changes here. There will be no Branch Line.
The Hudson River Line bus service have been canceled for the day.
East River Ferry service is suspending service on Tuesday.
The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for the entire tri-state, except for Ocean and eastern Suffolk counties, which are under a winter storm warning. Coastal flood warnings were also issued during high tide for the Jersey Shore and the South Shore of Long Island. High tide occurs at different times throughout the morning depending on location. Check the latest storm advisories here.
Falling and blowing snow with strong winds and poor visibilities are likely, the National Weather Service said. This will lead to whiteout conditions, making travel extremely dangerous if not impossible. The worst weather window will be early morning Tuesday through Tuesday afternoon, Storm Team 4 says. Intense wind gusts could cause power outages across the region.
In New York City, salt spreaders began hitting the roads Monday evening. As soon as snow accumulation reaches 2 inches, 1,600 snow plows from the sanitation department and 80 plows from the DOT will get to work, de Blasio says.
The mayor warned people to stay off the roads, as whiteout conditions are expected and blacktop won't be visible for awhile at the height of the storm.
"We're going to be hit with a tremendous challenge in the coming hours," he said.
The state of emergency for New York City will clarify the ability of the NYPD and all city agencies to act as needed to keep roads clear and ensure the safety of residents, according to de Blasio.
Newark has also declared a state of emergency. Residents in New Jersey's largest city are being asked to move their cars from snow emergency routes, and on all other streets, to park their cars on the side with even house numbers. Alternative parking lots are being provided at some lots, listed here. Garbage pick-up, recycling and street sweeping are suspended until further notice.
Forecast models on Tuesday morning put the storm slightly offshore, which is the track that includes the heaviest snowfall for the city and surrounding suburbs, according to Storm Team 4.
Snow is expected to mix with sleet and rain along the Jersey Shore and in Suffolk County. The coasts are expected to see less snow totals as a result, with less than 6 inches of snow predicted for southern Ocean County and the Hamptons. Coastal flooding and beach erosion, however, pose a threat to shoreline communities.
Storm Team 4 says the system will pull away from the tri-state between between 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday.
Light snow showers are in the forecast for Wednesday ahead of a blustery and sunny day Thursday. Highs will be in the 30s throughout the work week, with St. Patrick's Day seeing the warmest temperatures and a mix of clouds and sun.
Snow-dorable! Kids and Pets Playing in the Snowstorm
Last Friday a winter storm system dropped half a foot of snow on parts of the tri-state. It's not unusual for significant snow to fall in March in New York City. According to the National Weather Service, the city has seen storms with accumulations of at least 10 inches in Marsh five times since 1888, though Tuesday's storm has the potential to blow them all out of the water.
New York City has seen significantly less snow this winter compared to last year. It has snowed 20.5 inches so far this season compared to 32.3 inches by this time in 2016, an amount that was buoyed by one of the largest snowstorms in the city's history last January.