NEW YORK (PIX11) -- A winter storm that ground the tri-state area to a halt is falling short of its projected snow totals, but will continue to pose a danger Tuesday to anyone who tries to venture outside, particularly on Long Island.
The storm -- originally believed to have blizzard potential -- won’t be one of the snowiest storms to hit the New York metro area, but it’s still significant, according to PIX11 meteorologist Linda Church.
It will remain powerful through the morning and weaken as noon approaches. Snowfall is expected to start to taper off in the five boroughs by 9 a.m., with a significant slow down expected by midday.
A blizzard warning went into effect at 1 p.m. Monday and was listed at 5:30 a.m. Tuesday for New York City, New Jersey and southern Westchester County, replaced by a winter storm warning, according to the National Weather Service.
The blizzard warning remains in effect for eastern Long Island and much of Connecticut until midnight Tuesday, the agency said.
That change in severe weather alerts does not mean it's safe to venture outside. Travel bans and states of emergencies remain in effect for New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.
The travel ban south of Interstate 195 in New Jersey was lifted at 7 a.m., Gov. Chris Christie said, adding that New Jersey residents should still remain off the roads if possible. The ban remains in effect for areas north of I-195 until further notice.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo is scheduled to update New Yorkers about the travel ban at an 8 a.m. news conference Tuesday. All non-emergency vehicles are banned from New York City streets until further notice, de Blasio said.
While warning New Yorkers to wait out the storm at home, Mayor Bill de Blasio said Juno had the potential to become one of the “worst in the city’s history.”
Initial forecasts called for as much as 3 feet of snow in some areas.
By Tuesday morning, those snowfall forecasts had shrunk.
The eastern end of Long Island is expected to get the brunt of the storm, with 14 to 24 inches of snow possible.
New York City and its suburbs, eastern New Jersey and much of Connecticut could be blanketed with 9 to 14 inches of snow. Further inland, 4 to 9 inches of snow are expected.
Schools in New York City and much of the tri-state were shuttered Tuesday, and mass transit into and out of the city came to a halt.
But is this storm a blizzard like it was originally billed? The answer isn't black and white.
A blizzard is categorized not just by snow but by wind -- specifically, 35 mph wind gusts, Church said.
Portions of Eastern Long Island, including Islip, have clocked in wind gusts in the low 30-mph range and may reach the criteria for a blizzard, though much of the rest of the region’s wind gusts have not reached blizzard proportions, Church said.