Fourth nor’easter: Heavy snow continues into night, expected to taper off by morning

NEW YORK — The fourth nor'easter this month continued to bear down on the tri-state Wednesday evening, and is not expected to taper off until overnight and into Thursday morning.

The heaviest snowfall slammed the area between 4 p.m. and 11 p.m., when powerful bands swept through the region and dumped 1 to 2 inches of snow per hour. Around 6 to 10 inches of snow total is expected.

Commuters were urged to stay home and avoid the roads as powerful winds, with gusts up to 45 mph, and heavy snow created limited visibility and dangerous driving conditions.

The first known storm-related death happened on Long Island where a crash killed a woman and injured five others, police said.

While predicted totals have varied widely depending on the model, Wednesday's storm is on its way to becoming one of top five snow March snow storms NYC has seen since 1960.

The top five currently include:

  • 12.5 inches on March 3, 1960
  • 10.2 inches on March 13, 1993
  • 9 inches on March 22, 1967
  • 8.6 inches on March 5, 1981
  • 7.6 inches on March 14, 2017

How much snow will we get?

How much snow sticks and stays will depend greatly on how cold it gets.

The high temperature in New York City could hit 35 degrees on Wednesday -- nearly 20 degrees colder than the usual high this time of year, but potentially warm enough to keep the snow from accumulating.

PIX11 Weather Center is calling for 6 to 10 inches across New York City, Long Island and northeastern New Jersey, with locally higher amounts possible. More than 10 inches could fall in interior New Jersey and points north and west of Manhattan.

The National Weather Service is predicting higher accumulations of 12 to 18 inches in the boroughs, northeastern New Jersey, much of Long Island, portions of the lower Hudson Valley and southern Connecticut, with locally higher amounts possible. The agency said Putnam and Orange counties and the forks of Long Island can expect 6 to 12 inches of snow.

Alerts

A winter storm warning is in effect for New York City, Long Island, northeast New Jersey and all of Connecticut, according to the weather service. It is expected to remain in place through 6 a.m. Thursday.

The warning means severe winter weather will make travel “very hazardous or impossible." Blizzard-like conditions are also possible on Long Island in the afternoon as wind gusts of up to 40 mph, coupled with heavy snow, could create white-out conditions.

That combination of heavy snow and powerful wind gusts could bring down tree limbs and power lines, spurring outages, the agency said.

State of emergency

In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency Tuesday, ahead of the storm.

Residents are advised to stay home during the storm if possible.

"Please do not head out into the snow unless you absolutely have to," Murphy said. "Please give the local, county, and state crews the chance to work unimpeded to get our roads and highways clear."

School closures and delays

While many schools were closed Wednesday, students will have to return Thursday with schools announcing delayed openings.

Click here for a full list of school closures and delays in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Roads and public transit

All NJ Transit bus service was suspended Wednesday afternoon but will resume normal service Thursday.

A travel ban was established for tractor-trailers on several roadways. Click here for up-to-date transit information.

The city has issued 350 additional plows on the road.