The one-two punch of strong winds and heavy snow has the potential to produce blizzard-like conditions in the Tri-State area on Monday as the biggest winter storm in years wallops the region.
The brunt will come on Monday with 1 to 2 inches an hour of snow or even higher along with 40-50 mph wind gusts. Some areas could even experience thunder snow at the storm’s peak.
Snow tapers off Tuesday but blowing and drifting will continue as winds stay gusty.
The event could well last 48 hours, making it a rare snowstorm the likes of which we see every five to 10 years, ABC7 meteorologist Jeff Smith said.
Sunday evening, New York City looked like a snow globe from roof cameras as visibilities quickly decreased.
With states of emergencies declared for New Jersey and New York City, a coating of snow was in place in the five boroughs by early evening, and parts of New Jersey already had several inches, with the storm only a few hours into its assault on the region.
When all is said and done, the metropolitan area could see dramatic extremes in accumulations, with 18 to 24 inches possible in northwestern New Jersey – as close to the city as northwestern Bergen County – and southern parts of the Catskills.
That pocket of intense snow accumulation could inch closer toward the city depending on the extent to which the storm remains all snow closer to the coast. Coastal areas could see a mix of precipitation if temperatures manage to rise above freezing later in the day on Monday, as the slow-moving storm drags in milder air off the Atlantic Ocean.
Right now, northeastern and central New Jersey, New York City, western Nassau County, the Hudson Valley and nearby Connecticut are all in the bullseye for a solid foot to 18 inches of snow.
Eastern Nassau and western Suffolk counties are in the 6″-12” range, and the twin forks of Long Island, along with South Jersey, could see just 3”-6”, with mixing and warmer air.
The strongest of the winds will be along the coast and across Long Island. It is coastal areas and the city itself that could potentially see blizzard-like conditions for a time, but the National Weather Service has not issued such a warning. For now, the entire region remains under a Winter Storm Warning.
The storm slowly departs on Tuesday, but it’ll still be blustery and chilly. Additional significant accumulation is not likely during the day Tuesday, but don’t be surprised to see a few more inches before the storm finally departs.
The snow itself will likely remain fluffy throughout the event, because it’s so cold, but could become wetter and heavier in coastal airs that see mixing.
Coastal areas will also have to contend with the risk of flooding from the powerhouse storm, with flood warnings in effect on Long Island until 3 a.m. Tuesday. These areas face a risk of moderate coastal flooding, but some areas could see major flooding.
High tide Monday night could bring 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 feet of inundation in vulnerable areas, areas like Freeport and Lindenhurst on Long Island and the South Shore back bays. The storm’s slow-moving nature will encompass several high-tide cycles, adding to the concerns.
Stay with the AccuWeather team for continuing updates.
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