The first nor’easter of the year swept in on Monday, threatening a possible two feet of snow in New York City and other parts of the mid-Atlantic and Northeast.
Travel will be difficult to impossible in the region thanks to the combination of heavy snow, gusty winds, and coastal flooding. Power could be knocked out as well over a wide area, reported CNN.
“Make no mistake: this storm will bring heavy snowfall, and it will make travel dangerous in every neighborhood in our city,” NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio said in declaring a state of emergency. “New Yorkers should stay home, keep the roads clear for emergency vehicles, and let our plows work to keep us all safe.”
By early Monday, 5.3 inches of snow had fallen in Central Park, which is already more than the city saw during the 2019-2020 winter, when 4.8 inches fell.
The National Weather Service said New York City could see extreme weather impacts, giving the city a level five on a five-tiered scale.
Near-blizzard conditions are expected into Monday night, with gusts of 35-40 mph. It’s possible that the storm may not let up until Wednesday morning, reported CNN.
Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey also declared a state of emergency. “Heavy snow, coastal flooding, and high winds are expected in many parts of the state,” Murphy said. “The safety of residents and workers is our utmost priority. Please follow all weather-related guidance and stay off the roads in order to allow access for emergency personnel.”
Ahead of the nor’easter, more than 1,300 flights across the U.S. were preemptively canceled and major hubs, such as LaGuardia, Newark and JFK are reporting 70 percent to 80 percent of Monday’s scheduled flights as canceled.