First snow of the season to hit tri-state area

NEW YORK — The first snow of the season is forecast to fall across the tri-state Thursday afternoon, bringing the area a taste of winter and potentially record snowfall.

A storm system will work its way up the eastern seaboard Thursday. A winter weather advisory is in effect from 1 through 9 p.m. for parts of northeast New Jersey, and a wind advisory is in effect from 3 p.m. Thursday through 3 a.m. Friday for the New Jersey shore, according to the National Weather Service.

People in the tri-state should expect to begin seeing snow around noon. But how much? That depends on the temperatures.

Weather models are in disagreement over likely accumulation.

Some models predict New York City will warm up to a high near 40 degrees after 4 p.m., causing the snow to turn to rain. This would keep snow totals low. The most conservative models are calling for less than 2 inches in NYC, and slightly higher totals inland, with 1.5 inches in Trenton, 3.4 inches in Sussex and 2.7 inches in Montgomery.

More bullish models forecast the cold air will stick around, resulting in potentially record-breaking accumulation for this time of year in NYC.

Records date back to 1869, and the most accumulation the city has seen on this date was 4.7 inches back in 2012.

Multiple models suggest NYC will beat this record, with 5.3 inches to as much as 6.5 inches. In this scenario, Trenton could see accumulation of 3 to 5 inches, and Sussex and Montgomery could get 3 to 8 inches.

In any of these scenarios, the afternoon rush-hour commute will be a mess.

The Department of Sanitation held a news conference Wednesday 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, officials said.

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