Residents of New York began preparing Wednesday for a massive winter storm that could bring a foot of snow and frigid temperatures across much of the region, with Saturday expected to be the coldest day in three years.
Snow is expected to begin falling overnight in some areas, promising a messy commute for Thursday, but the full storm isn’t expected to hit until later in the day. As much as a foot of snow or more is forecast for some areas overnight Thursday into Friday, and temperatures are expected to plummet, with some areas seeing highs just above zero.
“There will be travel problems,” said Hugh Johnson, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Albany, talking about Friday’s commute. “It will be very cold. You don’t want to be out in the stuff long unless you have the proper clothing.”
Sections of upstate New York could get up to a foot of snow, with forecasts generally calling for 6 to 12 inches. Cities such as New York and Lakewood are likely to see 3 to 7 inches.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday urged downstate commuters to leave their cars home in case major highways are closed for Thursday’s evening rush hours. In a conference call with reporters, Cuomo advised commuters to take mass transportation.
“We are looking at a serious storm situation,” Cuomo said. “We are preparing accordingly.”
As the snow tapers off early Friday, Cuomo said brutal cold may complicate cleanup efforts. The National Weather Service says wind-chill temperatures may dip to 30 degrees below zero in northern New York.
For weather-weary New Jerseyans, another round of winter weather sometime Thursday could drop several inches across the state before it exits early Friday. The precipitation is initially expected to be light, but will likely intensify by early Thursday evening. And temperatures should drop into the low single digits by Friday night, with subzero wind chills likely in most areas.
Near blizzard conditions are forecast for areas along the coast. The mayor of Bridgeport, Conn., already declared a state of emergency for Thursday, imposing special parking regulations so crews can plow. In Rhode Island, Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s office, the state
police, the Department of Transportation and other state agencies held a conference call to prepare for the storm.