Storm Team 4

NYC Schools Open, Dozens Close as Rapid Snowfall Rates Cripple Travel; LGA Gets 9+ Inches

Winter storm warnings were in effect for Long Island's Suffolk County and New Jersey's Monmouth and Ocean counties through Friday morning

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What to Know

  • A widespread winter storm wreaked havoc across the tri-state area for Friday's morning commute, bringing blinding snowfall rates up to 2 inches an hour for some
  • Winter storm warnings were in effect for Long Island's Suffolk County and New Jersey's Monmouth and Ocean counties through Friday AM; the rest of the region was under a winter weather advisory
  • NYC and surrounding areas were expected to see 3-5 inches, while Long Island, south Jersey and parts of southern CT could see up to 8; alternate side parking is suspended in the city Friday and Saturday

A fast-moving winter storm brought the first widespread snow of the season to the tri-state area, dumping well more than a half-foot in spots as blinding snowfall rates up to 2 inches an hour made for "treacherous" travel conditions early Friday.

New York City, which recorded more than 5 inches of accumulation in each of the boroughs by the time the system moved out late Friday morning, kept its public schools open, while a number of other districts in hard-hit parts of New Jersey and Connecticut delayed openings or closed for the day entirely on account of the weather. Check closings.

“Children need to be in school. We don’t have any more days to waste” after the many closures and remote-learning days of the pandemic, said Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat dealing with his first major storm after taking office Saturday. He also noted that many children rely on in-school meals and that some working parents can’t stay home.

As with all storms, locally higher amounts are possible -- LaGuardia in Queens had seen nearly 10 inches of snow accumulate by 3 p.m. That airport had more canceled flights than any airport in the world as of Friday morning, with more than 330 trips off because of the weather. JFK and Newark airports both canceled more than 220 flights each, while the latter had a partial ground stop in effect until 9 a.m.

Power outages, fortunately, have been fairly minimal, with utilities across the tri-state area reporting fewer than 1,800 total outages as of 10 a.m. The bulk of the outages were reported in New Jersey, which was whomped by heavy snow Friday for the second time in less than a week. Passaic and Morris counties held the bulk of the morning outages. In the city, Con Ed said Brooklyn and Manhattan had about 100 combined outages around the same time.

Long Island, South Jersey and southern Connecticut were projected to see some of the highest totals at this point, with up to 8 inches possible. Check totals here.

A winter storm warning was in effect for New Jersey's Ocean and Monmouth counties until 10 a.m. and for Long Island's Suffolk County until noon. The winter weather advisory issued rest of the region, including New York City, has expired. Check the latest weather alerts for your neighborhood here.

Latest Forecast From Storm Team 4

The heaviest snow appeared to have tapered off by about 7:30 a.m., marking the expected end of most of the accumulating white stuff. Light snow showers are possible over the course of the morning and should be gone by early afternoon.

Early drivers were among those most affected by the heavy snow Friday. Bruce Smith, a truck driver who was delivering baked goods to a Monmouth County Wawa, said he was out since 2 a.m. and the roads were treacherous.

"I drove like 30 miles per hour just to get here. So it's very scary, dangerous. Gotta take your time," Smith said.

Gov. Phil Murphy had declared a state of emergency for all of New Jersey ahead of the storm, which followed another winter blast earlier this week that saw parts of the state get over a foot of snow. The opening of state offices for nonessential employees was delayed until 11 a.m.

PATH trains were briefly suspended systemwide during the morning commute due to power loss on the 3rd rail. Some routes resumed service by 9 a.m. NJT train and buses and New York Waterway ferries were cross-honoring tickets.

The NYC Emergency Management Department also issued a travel advisory for Friday, while Metro-North Railroad is running on a Saturday schedule, the MTA said. The New York Health Department said that state-run vaccination and testing centers for New York City and Long Island will open at noon, by which time the precipitation should be almost out of the region if not completely gone.

The chill, though, is expected to stay. The rest of Friday is expected to be cold and blustery, with high temperatures likely to drop to near-freezing.

Bitter cold hits overnight and lasts into Saturday morning, with some wind chills expected below zero in spots north and west of the city, while temperatures will feel in the single digits and teens elsewhere. Expect more of the same chill during the day on Saturday, with high temperatures just barely hitting 30 degrees.

Another messy, wet storm system could hit the tri-state area late Sunday, bringing a wintry mix in the morning before transitioning to chilly rain for most.

That system is expected to be followed by an arctic blast, however, that will send temperatures to the mid-30s on Monday and to the low-20s on Tuesday -- which could be the coldest high temperature in the city in nearly three years.

Temperatures aren't expected to rebound much until late next week.

Track any approaching precipitation using our interactive radar below.

Copyright NBC New York/Associated Press
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