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NEW YORK — The biggest snowstorm in years may hit New York City later this week, Mayor Bill de Blasio warned Wednesday.

A winter storm warning was issued for 2 p.m. on Wednesday through 1 p.m. on Thursday for the five boroughs, portions or northeast New Jersey and northwestern Long Island. There could be up to 12 inches of snow along with winds gusting up to 50 mph.

The first of two storm systems moved through the area Monday bringing rain and some snow to most of the region. The five boroughs, Long Island and southern New Jersey primarily saw precipitation in liquid form with rain total between a quarter and a half of an inch. Meanwhile, the western NJ suburbs, upstate NY and Connecticut saw light to moderate accumulations of snow.

That is nothing, however, compared to what is in store for the tri-state area come Wednesday.

Early Tuesday, the National Weather Service issued winter storm watches for much of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, in effect from Wednesday afternoon through Thursday afternoon.

Later, the city was upgraded to a winter storm warning.

More serious winter storm warnings were issued for New Jersey counties including Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Morris, Somerset, Sussex and Warren, in effect from 10 a.m. Wednesday through 10 a.m. Thursday.

We will get a brief break on Tuesday with clear, sunny skies overhead, despite chilly temperatures – but don’t let it fool you.

A major nor’easter will be moving into the area Wednesday and could dump a foot or more of snow in parts of the region.

The exact track of the storm is not definite as of yet, but the potential exists for a good dumping of snowfall across the area. If the storm moves a little further south, everyone gets snow. If it moves a little more north, most get rain.

As of now, we are leaning to more of a snow event for the five boroughs, but it is possible that we could occasionally see a changeover to sleet, freezing rain, or a rain and snow mix. That would keep the snow totals down for the area.

As we head into Wednesday night, the snow is expected to be at its heaviest throughout most of the area, however that is also the time where the five boroughs and Long Island could see a changeover to sleet, freezing rain, or a rain/snow mix. If this were to happen, snow totals would end up being lower than the double-digit numbers that some models are projecting. In addition, winds are expected to increase during this time, with gusts in excess of 40 mph possible.

As of now, we are going with 6 to 10 inches for the five boroughs and the western half of Long Island, 3 to 6 inches for the eastern half of Long Island, 12 inches for the western suburbs of New Jersey and upstate NY and 3 to 6 inches for the southern half of New Jersey.

Anything can change though, so stay tuned.