What to Know
- The 4th nor'easter this month hammered the tri-state Wednesday with more than more than one foot of snow in some spots
- Three nor'easters earlier this month already cut power to hundreds of thousands of people and wreaked havoc on the region's transit systems
- Storm Team 4 says the active weather pattern is expected to continue through remainder of March, meaning more serious storms are possible
The fourth nor'easter in less than three weeks tore into the tri-state area Wednesday, burying parts of New York City under more than a foot of snow and creating whiteout conditions on Long Island.
The governors of both New York and New Jersey declared states of emergency because of the system, which began cranking through the tri-state in earnest Wednesday morning. The storm contributed to dozens of accidents and at least two deaths.
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The storm turned deadly early -- a 51-year-old woman was killed in a weather-related van rollover on the Wantagh State Parkway near the Hempstead Turnpike on Long Island about 10 a.m. Four of the five other women in the car were injured, Nassau County police said.
A second person was killed when a bus and vehicle collided on Interstate 78 in Hunterdon County, according to New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy. A third accident in Newark, which police said may have involved a speeding driver in a stolen vehicle, resulted in a fatality but it's not clear if the weather contributed.
More than 150 school districts announced delays and closures Thursday, but Mayor de Blasio's office said New York City schools would be open on Thursday. Check other area school closings here. Alternate side parking is suspended through Thursday.
Luckily, the worst fears for the evening rush were averted, but travel was slow for thousands of commuters and motorists. In New York City a jackknifed tractor-trailer on the George Washington Bridge about 8:30 p.m. hampered travel for people looking to pass into New Jersey. And on Long Island, heavy bands of snow Wednesday overwhelmed snow-clearing crews and created near-whiteout conditions for drivers.
But luckily, it also appeared that workers heeded warnings to stay home for the day; the otherwise jam-packed Penn Station looked quiet compared to previous storms.
Winter storm warnings remain in effect for much of the tri-state until Thursday morning, while winter storm advisories have been issued to the far north and west of New York City.
Murphy issued a state of emergency for the Garden State ahead of the storm. Gov. Cuomo did the same for New York City, Putnam, Rockland, Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk counties early Wednesday afternoon. Three hundred National Guard service members have been activated and are being deployed to impact spots.
NJ Transit, Amtrak and Metro-North were running on modified schedules, but only NJT and Metro-North announced they intended to operate regular weekday service on Thursday. Amtrak said it would stay on its modified schedule. The region's three major airports were virtually shut down by the storm Wednesday, as well, with thounsands of flights grounded. Click here for all transit-related updates on the rails, roads, waterways and the air.
Storm Team 4 had projected a widespread 10 to 12 or more inches of snow for New York City and a wide swath of central New Jersey, northern Long Island, Westchester County, New York, and Fairfield County, Connecticut. Other parts of the Hudson Valley and spots north and west were projected to get closer to 3 to 6 inches, and the northernmost parts of the region saw the lowest snowfall totals.
By 5 a.m. Thursday, a few snow bands were still lingering in of the region, but not much more accumulation is expected. Patchogue on Long Island had seen the most snow fall in New York state about 19 inches. Port Richmond on Staten Island had seen the highest snowfall in the five boroughs with a total of 13.8 inches of powder, while Central Park saw 8.2 inches. Roselle, New Jersey, got 11.8 inches of the white stuff, the most in the Garden State. Check the latest snow totals in your neighborhood here.
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The heavy, wet snow again tested trees and power lines, according to Storm Team 4, and brought a threat of more outages to parts of the tri-state hit hardest by blackouts in previous storms. Though, as of 1 a.m. Thursday, only several thousand customers across the tri-state were without power -- a far cry from the hundreds of thousands who were in the dark following earlier nor'easters this month.
Strong winds were also observed with the storm -- sustained 15 to 25 mph winds with gusts up to 50 mph, especially along the coasts.
Even though the evening and early-morning hours Thursday was faced with wicked winds and periods of heavy snow, conditions slowly began to improve a bit as the storm began to pull out of the region. Snow was still falling around 4 a.m., but showed signs of slowing down. It's not expected to began to taper off until later Thursday.
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Blustery weather follows storm No. 4, and temperatures will remain below average to kick off the spring season this week, Storm Team 4 says.
More sun than clouds are expected on Saturday while Sunday calls for party sunny skies, Storm Team 4 said. But some good news: temperatures in the 50s aren't that far out.
The system is the fourth nor'easter to wallop the tri-state this month. The first three ravaged parts of the region, knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of people, crippling East Coast travel and had been blamed for several fatalities.
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Storm Team 4 says the active weather pattern is expected to continue for the remainder of March, meaning even more serious storms are possible.
The first nor’easter in the series, on March 2, canceled thousands of flights and wreaked havoc on the region’s commuter rail systems, including Amtrak, which shut down its popular Northeast Corridor. It hit New Jersey and the Hudson Valley hardest, with Sussex County seeing more than 13 inches of snow and parts of Orange County getting more than 9 inches.
The second, on March 7, knocked power out for hundreds of thousands of people in New Jersey and the Hudson Valley. Rockland and Orange counties recorded more than 20 inches and Passaic and Essex counties saw more than 20 inches.
Fourth Nor'easter in Three Weeks Rolls Into Tri-State, Once Again Buries Region and Knocks Out Power
The third, on March 12, grazed most of the tri-state but hammered Long Island and Connecticut with snow. Southampton got more than 18 inches and Newtown recorded 11 inches.
At least five people in the tri-state were killed in the four nor’easters: an 11-year-old Hudson Valley boy was hit by a tree during the first; an 88-year-old woman was hit by a tree outside her Hudson Valley home during the second; an unidentified New Jersey driver was electrocuted when he drove onto a live wire. And at least two people died in vehicle crashes as the fourth moved in.
According to the National Weather Service, the last time the northeast saw four nor'easters in less than a month was about 30 years ago -- between the evening of Dec. 30, 1986 and Jan. 26, 1987.