The National Weather Service has issued a severe weather alert for New York City from Sunday afternoon to Monday morning, predicting freezing temperatures and a minimum of 5 to 8 inches of snow, though estimating even more as the storm front approaches.
At a Sunday evening press conference, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that city schools will be closed on Monday due to the storm.
According to the NWS forecast, the storm may begin as rain, becoming snow overnight as temperatures drop to below freezing. Both the National Weather Service and New York’s Office of Emergency Management recommend staying indoors.
“We advise everyone to avoid all unnecessary travel, and use public transportation,” Joe Esposito, Office of Emergency Management commissioner stated. “Do not drive unless you have to. Obviously, Monday morning rush hour will be affected.”
The Department of Sanitation will deploy its fleet of 695 salt spreaders and 1,600 snow plows to combat the heavy precipitation, reporting that they still have 170,000 tons of salt ready for use. Additionally, DSNY admitted to running behind on garbage collection as a result of storm preparations and recommends that households with weekend garbage collection leave their bins outside.
“We will concentrate on high spots that are prone to freezing,” said Steven Costas, DSNY’s first deputy commissioner. “The decision will be made this afternoon about whether schools will stay open.”
The NWS predicts temperatures will drop to the lower 30s overnight, meaning that there is a chance of snow melting and “refreezing” into ice, causing extremely slippery conditions. The Office of Emergency Management anticipates unsafe roads and sidewalks, and has announced a multi-agency task force devoted to moving vehicles that may lose control and block lanes.
Overall, Esposito recommended staying indoors during the upcoming snowstorm, especially the elderly.
“Seniors, if they have to go out at all, should use extreme caution,” said Esposito.
Temperatures are expected to rise again on Monday, with clear skies and a low chance of snow for the rest of the day.
Here is the latest Weather Briefing on the Winter Storm to impact the region late today through early Monday morning. Click the link for all the details on the storm. https://t.co/QnALI9qZa3 pic.twitter.com/jqlCMEsrOp
— NWS New York NY (@NWSNewYorkNY) March 3, 2019