Blizzard and winter storm warnings are in effect for most of the tri-state as a powerful nor'easter makes its way to our area, forecast to dump up to 10 inches of snow and bringing whipping winds that could complicate storm cleanup.
A blizzard warning is in effect for Long Island, and there is a winter storm warning for most of the tri-state. A winter storm watch is in effect for central New Jersey and points south.
Light snow was expected to start late Wednesday into Thursday. Snowfall will become heavier and steadier Thursday evening into Friday and will be accompanied by plunging temperatures and whipping winds.
In New York City, 6 to 8 inches of fluffy snow are expected, and 8 to 10 inches of snow are possible north and west of the city and Long Island. Two to 4 inches are expected to fall in central and southern New Jersey.
The snowfall will combine with winds gusting up to 35 miles per hour to make visibility low Friday. Drivers are urged to stay off the roads after Thursday afternoon. Mass transit is a "prudent option, given that highways may be closed," Gov. Cuomo said in a conference call with reporters Wednesday.
Single-digit lows Friday will combine with arctic wind chills well below zero to create a dangerously cold environment. Wind chills could make it feel as cold as 15 degrees below zero from Thursday night into Friday. ll
In New York City, the Department of Transportation announced that alternate-side parking regulations would be suspended Thursday as sanitation crews salt and clear the streets. Residents can track snow removal progress in their neighborhood at PlowNYC.
The MTA says it's ready to deploy ice-busting equipment on outdoor subway, LIRR and Metro-North tracks to keep trains moving during the storm. Underground subway service should be unaffected by the snow.
Buses will be chained, and extra drivers are being brought in to cover the storm, the MTA says. If roads become impassable, bus service will be suspended. Stay updated on MTA service here.
The state Department of Transportation says it's rolling out plows on major highways and has deployed crews to trouble spots. Officials are looking to avoid a repeat of last February's disaster on the Long Island Expressway, when hundreds of cars got stranded during a quick-moving snowstorm.
The Port Authority says it's deploying extra personnel and equipment to monitor conditions and clear the snow at its airports, bridges, tunnels and PATH stations and tracks. Air and bus travelers should check with their carriers to confirm whether their plane or bus will depart as scheduled.
New Jersey Transit says it will cross-honor all tickets on Thursday.
The same storm system dumped a half-foot or more of snow in Illinois Wednesday, prompting hundreds of flight cancellations into and out of Chicago's O'Hare International Airport, according to the aviation tracking website FlightAware.com.
After the storm passes, temperatures should rebound slightly Saturday before rising into the 40s Sunday.