The eighth snowstorm of the season is bearing down on the Tri-State, and officials were already issuing travel advisories. The real problem is still yet to come. As much as a half-inch of ice is expected to fall during the overnight hours from New York City up to southern Orange County.
In the Big Apple, the MTA advised customers to be careful on platforms and stairs, which can get slippery, and while boarding trains and buses. If you are using mass transit, the MTA urged folks to leave plenty of extra time for their commute.
“While snow is a primary concern, this storm will feature freezing rain and ice, both can have severe impacts on the roads and rails that carry MTA vehicles. It’s important to note that each storm impacts parts of our region differently, and that appears to be especially true in the case of this storm. The accumulation of snow from previous storms also continues to present challenges in some areas of the MTA service region,” the MTA announced on their website.
“Buses service will be monitored for street access and some vehicles will be outfitted with chains for increased traction,” the agency said.
According to CBS 2′s Lonnie Quinn the ice will become a serious problem from just south of the Big Apple up to southern Orange County during the overnight hours into Wednesday morning, with as much as a half an inch falling between 3 a.m. and 9 a.m. The northern suburbs — Sullivan, Dutchess and Ulster counties — will mostly avoid the ice but will be hit with up to an additional 10 inches of snow, bring their total to 13-15 inches by the time the system begins to move out of the region on Wednesday afternoon.
The following is a breakdown of what to expect in New York City and its immediate suburbs starting during the Tuesday evening commute through late afternoon on Wednesday:
* From 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. expect showers mixing into freezing rain and sleet in the city and light snow in the northern suburbs.
* Round 2 of this storm will start after midnight, with a moderate ice and wintry mix falling in the city and moderate snow in the northern suburbs. Expect mostly rain in Monmouth and Ocean counties in New Jersey.
* From 3 a.m. until 9 a.m. expect more moderate icing in the city, but heavier accumulation in Westchester up to southern Orange. Heavy snow should be expected north of Poughkeepsie.
* After 9 a.m. the precipitation will begin to diminish in the city and will slowly come to halt in points north with the last of the mix/flakes ending around 5 p.m. in the city and 9 p.m. north of Poughkeepsie.
Air travel across much of the country is a mess. Airlines have canceled more than 4,500 flights, for a total of more than 7,700 so far this week. JetBlue is canceling flights in and out of JFK airport Tuesday, with some flights to resume Wednesday afternoon. Newark Liberty Airport has cancelled more than 600 flights.
As for the roads, the New York City Office of Emergency Management issued a Hazardous Travel Advisory. Dangerous conditions are expected through Wednesday evening’s rush hour and drivers are taking the warning seriously. The mix of frozen rain and sleet were causing some white-knuckle driving Tuesday.
“I hope people remember how to drive in this weather,” a man in the Bronx told 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports. “You just gotta be careful, even on ice you can have the best four-wheel drive ice is ice.”
OEM is warning NYC motorists to use major streets and highways for travel if possible and also advised keeping the name and number of a local towing service in case of break down.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for parts of the Tri-State Area until 6 p.m. Wednesday.
For Long Island, the event began Tuesday morning as snow, and was to turn to sleet by the afternoon and then become rain during the day on Wednesday before finally exiting as light snow showers on Wednesday night.
Property owners were urged to clear snow near fire hydrants so fire fighting operations are not impeded.
The city Department of Transportation has suspended alternate side parking regulations and payment at parking meters until further notice.
Accumulations throughout the area could knock down tree limbs and power lines.