Snowstorm slams NY, NJ: Updated timeline, snow totals, and more

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snow nor'easter snowstorm filephoto new jersey

Barry James digs out his car, as well as his daughter’s car, before trying to get to work in Englewood, N.J., Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020.

NEW YORK — A nor’easter caused the first major snowstorm of the season to bear down on the tri-state area, dumping more than a foot of snow in some parts, with frigid temperatures, gusty winds and sleet making conditions even worse.

8 p.m.
The snowstorm is over, with the cleanup now front and center.

But the forecast still features bitter cold temperatures on the backside of the storm into the weekend. High pressure will build in from the north, but that means colder north and northwesterly winds will blow through Friday. There will be clouds from time to time, which would prevent any sunshine from warming us up. On Friday high temperatures get to about the freezing mark, in the low 30s across the region. For the next couple of nights, morning lows are in the single digits to the north and west, and in the teens to near 20° in the city.

Is it the end of the snow? For now.

Sunday brings the chance for rain showers at the coast and snow showers inland. It is not a major storm, but a light accumulation is possible in the higher elevations. It may persist into Monday. All the while, high temperatures are in the 30s.

After this brief stormy pattern, look for milder temperatures for the middle of next week, with another precipitation threat towards Christmas.

3:30 p.m.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency in 18 New York counties: Albany, Broome, Chenango, Columbia, Delaware, Dutchess, Greene, Montgomery, Orange, Otsego, Rensselaer, Saratoga, Schenectady, Schoharie, Sullivan, Tioga, Ulster, and Washington.

“With a large portion of the state continuing to deal with heavy snowfall and extremely dangerous driving conditions, I am declaring a state of emergency in eighteen counties across the Southern Tier, Mohawk Valley, Capital and Mid-Hudson Regions,” Gov. Cuomo said. “New Yorkers are no strangers to extreme winter weather and we will get through this as we always do. We have thousands of personnel and pieces of equipment engaged in operations throughout the state and will continue to do everything we can to help communities until the job is done.

The state police responded to over 600 accidents and vehicles in distress during the storm which dropped as much as two feet of snow in places.

The empty and tandem tractor trailers ban on MTA bridges is being lifted at 4 p.m.

“In the meantime, I am urging all New Yorkers to stay home and avoid any unnecessary travel so snow plows and road crews can clear roads as quickly and as safely as possible,” Cuomo added.

11 a.m.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo held briefing Thursday about the storm. Watch below or by clicking here:

Updates:

  • Gov. Cuomo said there were two fatalities in New York from the snowstorm. Read more.
  • The snow is expected to stop in New York around 1 or 2 p.m., Cuomo said. Several more inches could fall in some areas.
  • As of Thursday morning, there were about 9,100 power outages and there had been about 600 automobile accidents, Cuomo said.
  • Cuomo pleaded with New Yorkers to stay home if possible.

The storm dumped as much as 44 inches in parts of the state. Click here for the latest snow totals across the tri-state area.

9 a.m.
Gov. Phil Murphy held a briefing Thursday morning with the latest storm updates in New Jersey. Watch here or in video below.

Breaking Updates

  • State of Emergency continues in New Jersey, Murphy says
  • The governor declared a delayed opening for all state offices until 11 a.m., including all motor-vehicle offices
  • NJ Transit bus service will resume at noon Thursday; rail service will resume starting at 11 a.m. on a rolling basis
  • As of 8:30 a.m, NJ State Police had responded to 207 accidents and 426 motorist-aid calls
  • Over 4,000 customers without outages across state currently, Murphy said
  • Most highways are in “good shape,” officials said, but there is still drifting snow and salting to be done
  • At the peak, the number of outages was around 13,000 statewide. Currently, NJ has about 4,102 outages.
    • Officials said they expected more than this

Original story:

By early Thursday, about 4 to 8 inches had fallen across the five boroughs, Long Island and much of New Jersey. Some parts of the area, though, have seen just 2 to 3 inches.

As of 12:05 a.m. Thursday, 6.5 inches of snow had fallen in Central Park, according to the National Weather service, with more likely to accumulate before the storm is over.

In just one day, Central Park had eclipsed the total amount of snow it saw over the entire 2019-2020 winter season.

Nor’easter hits NYC with heavy snow, wind

Snow will continue over the five boroughs, the western suburbs of New Jersey and western Long Island through mid-morning, and over the Hudson Valley into the early afternoon.

An additional 1 to 2 inches of accumulation are possible in NYC and northeastern New Jersey, and another 2 to 4 inches could build up over the Hudson Valley.

Heavy snowfall continues in NJ early Thursday

However, parts of eastern Long Island and southern New Jersey could see a changeover to rain, freezing rain or sleet Thursday morning.

Full list of mass-transit disruptions in NY, NJ as snowstorm hits

Possible snow totals

Snow accumulations for the city are expected to be in the 6 to 10-inch range by the time the storm moves out Thursday morning near 9 a.m.; the western New Jersey suburbs and upstate New York will see 12 to 18 inches, eastern Long Island will be in the 3 to 6-inch range, and southern New Jersey will see about 2 to 4 inches.

NYC Sanitation Department Acting Commissioner Edward Grayson told PIX11 how his crews were dealing with the snow:

How NYC Sanitation Dept. dealing with snow across city

Temperatures will not warm up in the afternoon, only reaching a high of about 31 in the city, which will prevent any snow from melting. Gusty winds will continue through the morning, creating wind-chill temperatures in the single digits for many spots across the tri-state region.

The frigid temps will continue into the weekend, maintaining a wintry feel across our area.

Power outages across the region

Con Edison spokesperson Alfonso Quiroz told the PIX11 Morning News how the utility company has prepared for Wednesday’s storm, including having over 200 mutual-aid crews from around the country at the ready to help ConEd crews.

Click here for current info on power outages in the tri-state area

ConEd warns New Yorkers to stay away from down lines that could be hidden by snow. Plus, ConEd is advising customers to sign up for text alerts at ConEd.com/text to get the latest updates and to help report outages.

Gusty winds continued to be a major factor during the nor’easter.

School closures

In New York City, students will not get a snow day due to the nor’easter. Instead, they’ll learn from home, per a Department of Education plan.

For a full list of school closings New York and New Jersey, click here.

How the storm rolled in Wednesday

In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy Wednesday signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency. Flakes began in Monmouth County, NJ just before 1 p.m. and became heavier across the area after that. Newark issued its own state of emergency.

Light snow fell, as forecast, between 1 and 3 p.m. Wednesday. Substantial snowfall then began between 4 and 6 p.m., moving south to north, making for a dangerous commute during the evening rush. Snow steadily continued after 6 p.m. along with strong winds.

Several inches of snow had accumulated in most areas across the region by midnight.

The storm progressed from southwest to northeast as it slammed into the region. The storm regrouped to our south and is expected to pick up again as it moves north and east.

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