Winter storm to hit NY

A winter storm system is set to deliver a foot of snow or more in areas across Western and Central New York, Finger Lakes, Mohawk Valley, North Country, and the Capital Region of New York.

Freezing rain and icy conditions could impact Mid-Hudson and downstate regions through Friday.

Confidence is growing that there could be heavy precipitation of rain and a wintry mix in the New York City area late Thursday night into Friday.  Currently, the highest threat for a wintry mix of snow, sleet, and freezing rain exists across interior portions of the Lower Hudson Valley, northeastern NJ, and Southern CT late tonight into Friday.

Rain levels could be between 1-2".  That combining with melting snow could create flooding conditions in some areas, especially urban areas with poor drainage.

Winter Storm NY: Dangerous ice accumulation possible

Mixed precipitation is forecast to move into the western part of the state Wednesday night, with a round of snow, sleet, and freezing rain taking place Thursday afternoon and evening as the storm moves east.

Precipitation is expected to transition to snow by Friday morning across much of the state, although the Mid-Hudson, New York City, and Long Island regions could see freezing rain and sleet Friday morning.

Winter Storm Watches and Warnings

Power outages and tree damage are possible due to ice and subsequent snow accumulation.

Travel in affected regions could be hazardous at times, especially during morning and evening commutes on Thursday and Friday.

Governor Kathy Hochul advised New Yorkers to limit travel, avoid dangerous conditions and allow emergency response crews to complete their missions.

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Winter Weather

Winter Weather

Areas in the Southern Tier, Mohawk Valley, and North Country could see up to 16 inches of snow, while Western New York and the Finger Lakes region are expected to get 12 inches of snow along with sleet.

The Capital Region is forecast to receive 4 to 10 inches of snow, and parts of the Mid-Hudson Region, where snowfall and mixed precipitation is most likely, could receive up to 4 inches of snow and up to two-tenths of an inch of ice.

National Weather Service

Multiple weather warnings and watches have been issued by the National Weather Service in anticipation of the multiple-day event, which is expected to move southwest-to-northeast across the state beginning Wednesday evening. 

The New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services' Emergency Operations Center is activated and closely monitoring weather and travel conditions, coordinating State agency response operations, and communicating with local governments ahead of the event. The state's stockpiles are prepared to deploy assets to localities to support any storm-related needs, including pumps, chainsaws, sandbags, generators, cots, blankets, and bottled water.

The State Department of Transportation is prepared to respond statewide with the following assets: 

  • 1,748 large and medium-duty plow trucks
  • 51 tow plows
  • 328 loaders
  • 39 snow blowers
  • 23 pickup trucks with a plow
  • 18 graders

27 personnel from Long Island will be deployed to other regions as follows: 

  • The Capital Region will receive 7 snow plow operators and 2 equipment operator instructors.
  • Central NY will receive 8 snow plow operators and 1 supervisor.
  • The Southern Tier will receive 8 snow plow operators and 1 supervisor.

The Thruway Authority is prepared to respond with 677 operators and supervisors available statewide, along with the following assets: 

  • 356 large and medium duty plow trucks
  • 11 tow plows
  • 68 loaders
  • More than 119,000 tons of salt on hand

Variable Message Signs and social media are utilized to alert motorists of winter weather conditions on the Thruway.  

The Thruway Authority encourages motorists to download its mobile app which is available for free on iPhone and Android devices. The app provides motorists direct access to real-time traffic and navigation assistance while on the go.

DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officers, Forest Rangers, Emergency Management staff and regional staff are on alert and monitoring the developing situation and actively patrolling areas and infrastructure impacted by severe weather. All available assets, including sawyers, are positioned to assist with any emergency response.

New York State Park Police and park personnel are on alert and closely monitoring weather conditions and impacts. Park visitors should check or call their local park office for the latest updates regarding park hours, openings, and closings. 

New York's utilities have approximately 5,700 workers available to engage in damage assessment, response, and restoration efforts across New York State. Agency staff will track utilities' work throughout the event and ensure utilities shift appropriate staffing to regions anticipated to be most impacted.

New York State Police will be closely monitoring conditions and will be prepared to deploy additional Troopers as needed. All State Police four-wheel drive and specialized vehicles, including snowmobiles and utility terrain vehicles, are staged and ready for immediate response.

The New York Power Authority and the Canal Corporation staff are performing preparations to ensure all facilities, assets and equipment are secured and ready. The Power Authority is prepared to support power restoration activities if needed.

The MTA is closely monitoring weather conditions to ensure safe, reliable service.  Customers are encouraged to check for the latest service updates, and to use caution while navigating the system. Customers should also sign up for real-time service alerts via text or email. These alerts are also available via the MTA's apps: MYmta, Long Island Rail Road Train Time and Metro-North Train Time.

The Port Authority is monitoring weather conditions. Speed restrictions may be in effect at the bridges, as well as along roadways to and from the crossings. Passengers through the Port Authority's facilities are encouraged to reach out to carriers and airlines directly for the latest information on delays and cancelations. For the latest information about Port Authority facilities, please check social media, sign up for PA alerts or download one of the PA mobile apps, including RidePATH which provides real-time updates and alerts for PATH service.

Before getting behind the wheel, make sure that your vehicle is clear of ice and snow; good vision is key to good driving. Plan your stops and keep more distance between cars. Be extra alert and remember that snowdrifts can hide smaller children. Always match your speed to the road and weather conditions.

It is important for motorists on all roads to note that snowplows travel at speeds up to 35 mph, which in many cases is lower than the posted speed limit, to ensure that salt being dispersed stays in the driving lanes and does not scatter off the roadways. Oftentimes on interstate highways, snowplows will operate side by side, as this is the most efficient and safe way to clear several lanes at one time.

Motorists and pedestrians should also keep in mind that snowplow drivers have limited lines of sight, and the size and weight of snowplows can make it very difficult to maneuver and stop quickly. Snow blowing from behind the plow can severely reduce visibility or cause whiteout conditions. Motorists should not attempt to pass snowplows or follow too closely. The safest place for motorists to drive is well behind the snowplows where the roadway is clear and salted.

If experiencing a power outage, New Yorkers should: 

  • Turn off or disconnect major appliances and other equipment, e.g., computers, in case of a momentary power surge that can damage these devices. Keep one light turned on so you know when power returns. Consider using surge protectors wherever you use electronic equipment.
  • Call your utility provider to notify them of the outage and listen to local broadcasts for official information. For a list of utilities, visit the State Department of Public Service.
  • Check to see if your neighbors have power. Check on people with access or functional needs.
  • Use only flashlights for emergency lighting - candles pose the risk of fire.
  • Keep refrigerators and freezer doors closed - most food requiring refrigeration can be kept safely in a closed refrigerator for several hours. An unopened refrigerator will keep food cold for approximately four (4) hours. A full freezer will keep the temperature for about 48 hours.
  • Do not use a charcoal grill indoors and do not use a gas stove for heat - they could give off harmful levels of carbon monoxide.
  • In cold weather, stay warm by dressing in layers and minimizing time spent outdoors. Be aware of cold stress symptoms (i.e., hypothermia) and seek proper medical attention if symptoms appear.
  • If you are in a tall building, take the stairs and move to the lowest level of the building. If trapped in an elevator, wait for assistance. Do not attempt to force the doors open. Remain patient - there is plenty of air and the interior of the elevator is designed for passenger safety.
  • Remember to provide fresh, cool water for your pets.
  • Eliminate unnecessary travel, especially by car. Traffic signals will stop working during an outage, creating traffic congestion and dangerous driving conditions. If you must drive during a blackout, remember to obey the 4-way stop rule at intersections with non-functioning traffic signals.
  • Remember that equipment such as automated teller machines (ATMs) and elevators may not be working.