Winter storm Jonas is poised to pummel New York City this weekend, and although today it's sunny and delightfully crisp, come Saturday it'll be another story with some meterologists already referring to Jonas as a "blizzard for the ages." New York will escape the worst of it, which will pass over the Baltimore and DC metro areas, but new projections have upgraded the storm's status to blizzard as it'll bring with it up to a foot of snow, 50 mile per hour wind gusts, and coastal flooding akin to that experienced during Hurricane Irene. According to the National Weather Service, Jonas will hit the city late Saturday morning and stick around through Sunday before heading up the coast. Because it practically felt like spring until a few days ago, preparing for a major snowstorm may feel as out of place as salting the sidewalks in July. But don't worry, we got you. Here's everything you need to know about Jonas, and how the city is preparing for it.
So who's ready for winter storm Jonas? pic.twitter.com/ZZNkO9GbfJ— Stephan Ungar (@StephanUngar) January 20, 2016
First things first, let's clear up any lingering confusion. No, winter storm Jonas is not affiliated with those brothers of the same name. Some employee of the Weather Channel just thought it would make a good moniker. Bet they didn't think about how many awesome GIFs it would produce. Okay, moving on.
The MTA has laid out how they're handling the storm in a detailed Facebook post. All weekend maintenance has been preemptively called off unless the storm changes track, and subway trains stored in yards will be moved underground, which may affect express service. Service on the B train may end early on Friday, depending on how the storm progresses. Service on buses, subways, Metro-North, and LIRR may be temporarily suspended should it snow more than 10 inches. For a full look at how the storm may impact travel, head this way. The mayor's office has also announced that alternate side parking has been suspended on Saturday, January 23. It will remain in effect on Friday. Thought you'd be intrepid and just ride a Citi Bike to get around? Think again. The bike share program will temporarily shut down ahead of the storm.
UPDATE 1/23/16: All non-emergency travel has been banned by the Mayor's office as of 2:30 p.m. The LIRR, Metro-North, and elevated subway lines are suspended as of 4 p.m. ↓
*TRAVEL BAN*Non-emergency travel in New York City is banned after 2:30PM today. pic.twitter.com/0dBjjVRThS— Bill de Blasio (@BilldeBlasio) January 23, 2016
Citi Bike NYC & JC will temporarily shut down tonight at 11PM due to Winter Storm Jonas. Stay warm, stay safe! pic.twitter.com/VeZztuFmw7— Citi Bike (@CitiBikeNYC) January 22, 2016
Mayor de Blasio held a press meeting this morning announcing measures the city will take to prepare for Jonas, and advising New Yorkers on how to proceed. The Department of Sanitation will make sure the streets are well-salted and plowed by deploying 579 salt spreaders on Friday evening, and 1,650 plows when more than two inches of snow accumulate. About 2,400 Department of Sanitation employees will be working 12-hour shifts as of Friday morning.
A friendly reminder from the city: never use a gas stove, kerosene of propane space heaters, or charcoal or gas grills to heat your home. Those who lose heat and/or hot water should contact their property managers immediately, then call 311 to report the issue.
A Code Blue alert, which will require shelter access for anyone who needs it, will be issued when the temperature drops below 32 degrees. Here are some services that will be available to the homeless, as per a city press release:
· Shelters: During a Code Blue, homeless adults can access any shelter location for single individuals. Beds are available system-wide to accommodate anyone brought in by outreach teams or walk-ins. · Drop-in centers: All drop-in centers are open 24 hours a day when Code Blue procedures are in effect, taking in as many as people as possible for the duration of inclement weather. Drop-in staff also can make arrangements for homeless individuals at other citywide facilities.
· Safe havens and stabilization beds: Chronically homeless individuals may be transported to these low-threshold housing options, where they may go directly from the street to a bed.
Don't forget to take care of your furry friends, too. The ASPCA offers some tips ↓