Winter weather advisories issued as first snow of the season expected to hit tri-state Thursday

NEW YORK — Winter Weather Advisories have been issued for part of the tri-state as the area is expected to get its first taste of winter on Thursday when snow is likely to fall more than five weeks before the season even officially begins.

A storm system will work its way up the eastern seaboard Thursday. High pressure, which was located over Canada as of Wednesday afternoon, is likely to blanket the tri-state with unseasonably cold air.

Before the storm arrives, it will be one of the coldest nights of the season so far. A Freeze Warning has been issued for the city as temperatures are expected to drop below 32 degrees for the first time. The wind won’t help making it feel like the 20s through the night.

This will set the stage for possible snow accumulations over portions of the tri-state.

Clouds will thicken through Thursday morning as the storm system arrives. The first flakes should arrive during the midday to early afternoon timeframe across the city.

The good news for the city and coastal sections is that the snow will generally be confined to grassy surfaces as the ground temperature will be too warm. Expect at most around a coating to 1 inch for the most part. Any wintry mix should be changing over to rain early in the evening.

The Department of Sanitation held a press conference to let New Yorkers know they should be on alert.

“Its gonna get very very slushy,” said Kathryn Garcia, the Commissioner of Department of Sanitation. “Evening commute will be miserable it will be fast and furious.”

Some 700 salt-spreaders will be prepositioned for the storm. Inland areas will be a different story. The snow will last longer before any changeover occurs. As a result, snow amounts will be high with as much as 3-6” for the Catskills and the Hudson Valley.

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday for Southern Westchester County in New York and all of
southern Connecticut.

We can expect precipitation to start around 1 p.m. on Thursday as a mixture of snow and rain for coastal areas, and all snow for New York City and points north.

The snow will continue until around 7 or 8 p.m. in the city before milder air will begin working its way in from the Atlantic Ocean. This will change the snow over to rain from the city southward. Areas north and west will see snow continuing through the evening.

Another issue to watch will be the changeover itself. There could be an extended period of freezing rain for Northern Jersey and the Hudson Valley that could bring a glazing of ice making roadways treacherous and even the risk of isolated power outages.

After midnight the snow should change to rain for most areas and continue through the overnight hours.

A Winter Weather Advisory for snow means periods of snow will cause primarily travel difficulties. Expect snow covered roads and limited visibilities, and use caution while driving.

Since this is the first snowfall of the season, drivers will need to exercise their winter driving skills. Plan on extra travel time.

The precipitation will begin to taper off during Friday morning's commute and end by late morning

Total accumulations for the city vary between the various forecast models.

The "global" model is indicating mainly a rain event for the city with little to no snow accumulation, whereas the "North American" model is forecasting close to 5 inches for the city.

As of Wednesday afternoon, it appears that the city, western Long Island, and northeastern New Jersey will receive around 1 to 2 inches.

In the lower Hudson Valley as well as interior New Jersey, 2 to 4 inches are possible.

Amounts of 4 inches or more are possible for extreme northwestern New Jersey, as well as the northern sections of the Hudson Valley.

Gusty winds are be possible Thursday night into Friday morning as the storm passes through the area, especially along coastal regions.