The brutally cold temperatures and mini-snowstorm that hit New York City over the weekend are a mere preview of what’s to come tomorrow. The National Weather Service predicts that a “powerful winter storm” is about to bombard the East Coast, bringing plenty of wind and snow—as much as two feet of it in some regions—with it.
“We’re preparing for a significant storm on Tuesday, and New Yorkers should also prepare for snow and dangerous road conditions,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. Thanks to Winter Storm Stella (yep, it has a name already), the five boroughs could get anywhere from 12 to 18 inches of snow over the course of one day. The snow is expected to begin falling Tuesday morning (with as much as two to four inches coming down per hour), and stop by nightfall.
There’s also the chance of “widespread minor to locally moderate coastal flooding during the Tuesday morning high tide cycle,” particularly in parts of Brooklyn, Staten Island, and southern Queens, as if the snow and bitter cold wasn’t bad enough.
So what does this mean for New Yorkers? The NYC Emergency Management Department has already issued a hazardous travel advisory, urging New Yorkers to avoid the roads and take public transit whenever possible. As a pre-emptive measure, alternate side parking is already suspended for the day. Citi Bike and the Staten Island Ferry will remain in operation for as long as possible.
The Department of Sanitation is also gearing up for a big storm, with 689 salt spreaders being deployed before the worst of it hits, and more than 1,600 plows out once the snow gets going.
Mayor de Blasio announced that as a precaution, schools will be closed on Tuesday.
The New York Public Library has also announced that its three library systems—in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens—will also be closed due to the storm. And don’t worry: If you have books that are due tomorrow, their return dates will be extended. (“New Yorkers should check bklynlibrary.org, nypl.org and queenslibrary.org for updates and reopening information,” according to a press release.)
It’s likely that mass transit, along with train and air travel, will be impacted on the day of; we’ll keep you updated as the storm develops. Additionally, this interactive map helps you track the amount of snow accumulation in your area.