A winter storm warning is in effect until 6 p.m. as up to 2 inches an hour of windswept snow continues to fall across the Big Apple — with total accumulations of between 10 and 14 inches expected, forecasters said Thursday.
The National Weather Service also has issued a blizzard warning for all of Long Island until 6 p.m.
Snow is slowing the morning commute around New York City and upstate, where highways and secondary roads in the Albany area are covered in snow.
Wind gusts in some New York City areas are expected to be as high as 45 mph, producing possible whiteout conditions.
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced via Twitter late Wednesday that city schools would be closed Thursday.
More than 2,700 flights in and out of the region also were canceled, according to Flightaware.com, and airlines told passengers to check the status of their flights before heading to the airports, Reuters reported.
“Visibilities will become poor with whiteout conditions at times. Those venturing outdoors may become lost or disoriented,” the National Weather Service said in an advisory. “So persons in the warning area are strongly advised to stay indoors.”
The winter blast comes a day after much of the Northeast saw spring-like weather, with temperatures of 50 to 60 degrees.
“I’ve never seen anything like this in my life, you know, what feels like a summer day, almost, now, and then tomorrow a blizzard,” Hizzoner told WCBS-AM radio. “But it’s going to be a blizzard and New Yorkers should get ready.”
The forecast calls for temperatures to fall to around 27 degrees by 10 a.m., with wind-chill values between 10 and 20. Tonight will be partly cloudy, with a low around 17.
The city’s Emergency Management Department also issued a hazardous travel advisory.
“New Yorkers should be prepared for snowfall and slippery roads and plan to take mass transit where possible,” Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito said.
The Department of Sanitation deployed 689 salt spreaders across the five boroughs ahead of the storm. Officials planned to dispatch more than 1,600 plows when more than 2 inches of snow accumulated. The department assigned 2,400 workers per 12-hour shifts.
Alternate-side parking is suspended to facilitate snow removal operations. Parking meters are in effect.
CitiBike service was expected to remain in service Thursday until further notice.
The Staten Island Ferry was expected to run on a normal schedule, but all passengers should allow extra time should weather conditions affect the schedule.