What to Know
A winter storm warning has been issued for many tri-state counties; go to nbcnewyork.com/weather to see all the latest weather alerts[hhmc]
NYC could see up to 5 inches of snow, while suburbs far north and west could see up to a foot; temps will stay in the mid-30s[hhmc]
Temps rebound into the mid-40s on Friday and are expected to stay in that range through the weekend[hhmc]
The first snowstorm of the season swirled into the tri-state area early Thursday afternoon, at first gently, then with a vengeance that saw conditions rapidly deteriorate in the city and visibilities plunge across the region, paralyzing roads and ripping down trees.
Storm Team 4 boosted its projected totals for the city to 3 to 5 inches by early afternoon, as snowfall raced down at 1 to 2 inches an hour through about 4 p.m. Parts of New York state, like Poughkeepsie, could see up to a foot of snow before the system moves out.
Roads were an abject mess as the height of the storm coincided with the evening rush. Streets were gridlocked in New York City and traffic was at a complete standstill on major highways. Check the latest road conditions here.
The National Weather Service expanded its winter weather alerts, issuing a winter storm warning for more than a dozen tri-state counties as the storm closed in. NWS issues that warning when it expects heavy mixed precipitation, with total snow and sleet accumulations of 4 to 7 inches. A winter weather advisory is in effect for the city. Check the latest weather alerts for your neighborhood here and click here for school closings and delays.
Ultimately, the city and areas along the I-95 corridor could see up to 5 inches of snow by the end of the evening commute — a month ahead of the typical schedule for measurable snow in Central Park. Alternate side parking is suspended in the city Thursday to assist in snow removal.
Colder places well to the north and west will see more snow before rain mixes in, with a "major event" — up to 12 inches possible in the higher elevations, Storm Team 4 says. Those spots should expect at least 5 to 8 inches. Coastal areas should see mostly rain or just a trace of snow.
For most of the region, the snow has been heavy, wet and fast to fall, which could lead to power outages in the hardest hit spots. The precipitation mix has been making for slick roads and hazardous travel across the tri-state, leading to accidents, gridlocking local roads and major highways and severely delaying mass transit. Port Authority Bus Terminal had to shut its second and third levels due to overcrowding. Get real-time updates from all of your key transit sources right here.
A change to rain is expected Thursday night, with sleet first mixing in early in the evening before the rain/snow line moves north and northwest into the city and surrounding suburbs before midnight. Further to the north and west, the precipitation will stay as a wintry mix of snow and sleet, allowing for even more accumulation into the early hours of the morning.
Winds will pick up as well, gusting over 30 mphs overnight into Friday. A few rumbles of thunder are even possible overnight as a final intense burst of precipitation moves through.
Rain and snow will continue into the Friday morning commute, ending around 9 a.m., but the winds will remain strong, despite the return of sun Friday afternoon.
Highs bump back into the mid-40s on Friday and are expected to stay in that range through the weekend, Storm Team 4 says.