Winter storm Stella is threatening to dump 12 to 20 inches on much of the Northeast, with winds of up to 50 mph, causing potential blizzard conditions in areas ofMassachusetts, Pennsylvania and New York, from Upstate down through to Long Island.
As of Monday, officials said Stella could even undergo "bombogenesis," meaning it could turn into a weather bomb, classified as an area in which the central pressure of a low-pressure system drops at least 24 millibars within 24 hours,per Weather.com.
In other words, it's a low-pressure storm that intensifies quickly, with high winds and blizzard conditions, and sometimes even lightning.
New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Maryland are also expected to experience heavy snowfall and severe conditions.
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Bostonians are dusting off their space savers to reserve parking spots as winter prepares to throw what could be its final big punch. The southern region is expected to see 12 to 18 inches of snow on Tuesday starting at 5 a.m. or 7 a.m., according to the National Weather Service, while areas north and west of Boston could see 18 to 24 inches, according toCBS Boston.
A blizzard watch goes into effect late Monday night and will remain throughout the day, as snow is expected to batter the city late into the evening.
The storm will be "puking snow during daylight hours on Tuesday," as CBS Boston put it, but by 4 p.m., about 80 percent of the accumulation will have fallen, giving way to blizzard conditions.
Temperatures will linger in the upper 20s. Heavy winds of more than 35 mph will come with the Nor’easter, and residents should be prepared for power outages as tree limbs and power lines could come down, according the Eversource.
“Whiteout conditions will be possible, making travel very dangerous,” according to the blizzard watch.
Boston's public schools will be closed on Tuesday.
The T and buses will run Tuesday even if the governor declares a snow emergency, MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo said. As of Monday 6 p.m., Gov. Charlie Baker did not declare a state of emergency, but asked that people stay off the roads to avoid unsafe conditions, whiteouts and to allow city officials to efficiently clear the roads.
The MBTA is planning to run its regular weekday schedule on Tuesday. but the T's ferry service and the Mattapan Line service will be suspended Tuesday. Extra buses will be employed to ease the traffic, CBS Boston reported.
Logan Airport was already diverting and rescheduling Tuesday flights as of Sunday afternoon.
Space savers can be used to claim parking spots for up to 48 hours after a snow emergency has ended, according to city officials.
For more information on where to park during a snow emergency, visit boston.gov/winter-Boston.
SNE storm timeline. It's all snow as the storm moves in (even in the green). Rain Cape/Islands/S Coast Tue PM, possibly into BOS too. pic.twitter.com/QmBbWXL5eD— NWS Boston (@NWSBoston) March 13, 2017
The National Weather Service predicts 12 to 16 inches of snowfall in the Philadelphia region, beginning late Monday night and continuing into Tuesday. The NWS Philadelphia/Mt. Holly Officeissued a winter storm watch Monday morning that shows thebulk of the snowfall along the Interstate 95 corridor.
Monday will be partly cloudy with a high of 39 degrees,before dipping overnight into the low 30s. But the forecast windchill will drop temperatures far lower, into the high teens, by late Monday and into early Tuesday morning.
Snow is expected to start around 10 p.m. Monday, and will continue until about 4 p.m. on Tuesday.
Snow could mix with sleet for several hours on Tuesday morning reducing overall amounts, according to the National Weather Service.
The heaviest snowfall will occur in the morning hours, between 3 and 11 a.m. Tuesday, averaging about 3 to 4 inches per hour., reports say.
Philadelphia public and parochial schools will be closed on Tuesday.
Gov. Tom Wolf signed a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency for Pennsylvania on Monday, which restricts travel on interstate highways and the Turnpike.
The proclamation is not a "state of emergency," as it "does not prohibit vehicular travel on commonwealth roads," 6ABC reported.
Starting at 10 p.m. on Monday thorugh much of the state, a 45mph speed limit will be enforced on highways, 6ABC reported. There will also be a ban on tandem truck trailers, empty trailers, towed trailers, buses, recreational vehicles and motorcycles on Interstates 70, 76, 78, 80, 81, 83, 84, 283, 176, 180, 476, 380 and all expressways not on the interstate system.
The Turnpike will be under the same restrictions from the Bedford Interchange east to NJ and on the entire Northeastern extension. PennDOT is cancelling all superload permits for movement on Tuesday, 6ABC reported.
However, all drivers are encouraged to delay travel until roads are clear.
The NWS predicts widespread power outages and road blockages. Reports from 6ABC predict inland winds of 40-50 mph and coastal gusts of 50-60mph. A coastal wind warning has been issued. The snow will be heavy enough to take down powerlines, 6ABC reported.
There will be no trash or recycling collection in the city Tuesday, 6ABC reports.
The snowfall could rival that of the March 1993 blizzard, according to Accuweather, especially alongthe I-81 corridor of Pennsylvania and along part of the New York Thruway in the Hudson Valley of New York, I-91 in northern Connecticut and Massachusetts and I-93 in New Hampshire.
BLIZZARD DEFINITION— Cecily Tynan (@CecilyTynan) March 13, 2017
The amount of snow is NOT a factor in determining a blizzard. It is the wind & visibility. pic.twitter.com/BGkUGZ8dwo
Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for New York ahead of the blizzardStella, which could dump as much as 20 to 24 inches of snow on the five boroughs, Mayor Bill de Blasio added on Monday evening. The states of emergency for the state and the city will begin at midnight.
“To ensure our local governments have the resources and support they need to prepare and respond quickly to the impending winter storm, I am declaring a statewide state of emergency,” Cuomo said Monday evening. “With heavy snow and blizzard-like conditions expected from upstate to downstate, we are taking every precaution to keep New Yorkers safe. I urge residents to stay informed, avoid unnecessary travel, and where possible, leave work early as heavy snowfall is expected to begin tonight.”
Wind will blow at 20 to 30 mph, with gusts topping 55 mph, according to meteorologists. Temperatures will reach a high of 32 degrees on Tuesday with a low of 25 degrees at night.
The National Weather Service on Monday upgraded a previously issued blizzard watch to a blizzard warning, from midnight Tuesday to midnight Wednesday. The upgrade means the expected blizzard will occur in 12 to 18 hours of the status change— meaning the "maybe" has been removed.
The NWS also warns of whiteout conditions and low visibility in the city. The storm will begin around midnight or 1 a.m. for the city, with the most "intensive" snowfall starting around 5 a.m. and continuing through the day, de Blasio said. Stella is expected to dump snow at 2 to 4 inches per hour.
Snow flurries could be possible on Wednesday, too, Weather.com projects.
All New York City public schools are closed Tuesday.
More than 2,100 flights have been cancelled to and from NYC's three major airports, JFK (658), La Guardia (761) and Newark (710) as ofearly afternoon on Monday.
Roads and rails
New Yorkers might want to ask if they can work from home as Gov. Andrew Cuomo asked all non-essential state employees to stay home and warned the city of major disruptions to MTA service.
Cuomo tweeted that MTA express service ends at midnight on Monday, but to be on the look out for further service suspensions for NYC buses, LIRR and Metro North rail service as the storm wears on.
Above-ground trains will not run after 4 a.m. on Tuesday and Metro-North and LIRR riders should expect service to be significantly impacted.MTA guidelinessay that Metro-North and LIRR services could be reduced or suspended in the event of snow accumulation of 10 inches or more.
"Heavy snow will make travel difficult on Tuesday," NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito said. "New Yorkers should avoid driving and use mass transit when possible."
De Blasio urged New Yorkers to "stay off the streets for your own good and your own safety," as well as to allow city officlals to maintain roads and be able to respond in case of emergencies.
"Do not expect to see blacktop" anytime soon, the mayor added. The mayor said he and the governor are awaiting an update from the nWS around 10 p.m. to reasses the need to institute a travel ban.
The city Department of Transportation has suspended alternate side parking regulations for Tuesday and Wednesday for snow removal, but meters will remain in effect.
The city Department of Sanitation, whose trucks plow the streets during any snowfall, has already deployed 689 salt spreaders across the five boroughs. PlowNYC, which lets residents track vehicles online in real time, to avoid getting stuck behind one, will be activated, and more than 1,600 plows will be dispatched when more than 2 inches of snow accumulates. The agency said it has 283,000 tons of rock salt available, and has assigned 2,400 workers, in 12-hour shifts, who started at 7 a.m. Monday.
CitiBike services will be suspended at 11 p.m., the company tweeted.
Garbage/recycling collections will be suspended once snow operations begin.
Cuomo announced Sunday that the New York State Emergency Operations Center will be activated as ofMonday eveningwith their stockpiles of sandbags, generators, pumps and vehicles standing by.
A Code Blue went into effect at 4 p.m. If you or anyone you know needs shelter as temperatures drop, the city urges you to call 311 to find a shelter, drop-in center or other help.
For status updates on future announcements about school closures and public transit service changes visithttp://www1.nyc.gov.
Officials acknowledged that Stella will be a significant storm, but is not likely to rival last year’s blizzard on Jan. 22 and 23, which dumped 27.5 inches of snow — an all-time record for the city.
This story is developing. Please refresh your browser for updates.
Blizzard Watches upgraded to Blizzard Warnings except across E Suffolk and SE CT where Winter Storm Warnings were issued. Briefing to come. pic.twitter.com/zkY8v5EmIy— NWS New York NY (@NWSNewYorkNY) March 13, 2017
This article was orginally published on March 12 at 2:30 p.m.
Amanda Mikelberg, Alexis Sachdev, Erin Tiernan and Kimberly M. Aquilina contributed to this report.