A fresh round of wintry weather blasted the tri-state with snow, freezing rain and sleet, coating the region with another unwanted layer of muck that complicated Thursday commutes and likely contributed to a plane skidding off a LaGuardia Airport runway, injuring several people.
Storm Team 4 boosted its snow totals slightly based on the latest weather models, projecting 6 to 8 inches of accumulation for New York City and surrounding areas by the time the system moves out Thursday night. Initial models that indicated a lower snow total for the city had the snow moving out earlier, but the latest signs point to the system sticking through the evening commute.
By 10 p.m., New York City, Long Island's Nassau County and parts of Connecticut and New Jersey had seen nearly 8 inches of snow. Nine and a half inches were recorded in Great Kills on Staten Island, and 8 inches fell at LaGuardia Airport, where authorities continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the Delta flight accident. No major injuries were reported.
There were widespread weather-related subway and train delays during both the morning and evening commutes, with at least one subway suspension in the morning and dozens operating with delays in the evening. The Long Island Rail Road suspended electric train service between Hicksville and Huntington due to heavy snow build-up on the third rail.
Storm Team 4 says the sun angle is very high this time of year, so snow falling at a slow rate will melt on paved dark surfaces because of solar insulation through clouds and roadway chemicals. Roads were especially dangerous as snow fell heavily on streets already covered with a sloppy mix of slush and powder.
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In New Jersey, where Gov. Chris Christie issued a state of emergency ahead of the storm, speed restrictions were implemented on the New Jersey Turnpike and Garden State Parkway. Motorists were advised to stay off the roads for their own safety and to assist in storm cleanup.
Temperatures are expected to nosedive into the single digits in the suburbs and low teens in midtown overnight, turning any standing slush into ice, Storm Team 4 says.
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Friday will be mostly sunny and cold, with high temperatures not expected to reach 30 degrees in midtown. Alternate side parking rules are suspended.
The weather gets warmer Saturday, with a high of 38 degrees predicted and sunny skies. As the clocks jump ahead for Daylight Saving Time Sunday, the weather also takes a spring-like bounce, sending temperatures into the 40s, where they'll remain through at least Wednesday.
The New York City Department of Sanitation says it's called 22 snow alerts so far this winter and handled three storms this week alone.