It looks like Tuesday's big snow storm will be a nor'easter, and it's not looking pretty. The National Weather Service is projecting 12-18 inches (maybe even 20!)... and they've just upgraded NYC from "Blizzard Watch" to "Blizzard Warning"—we're in the red now!

The NYC Emergency Management Department issued a hazardous travel warning last night.

"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. "Besides the snow, it will be cold. We urge you to avoid unnecessary travel and help keep roads clear for Sanitation crews and first responders."

NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito added, "Heavy snow will make travel difficult on Tuesday. New Yorkers should avoid driving and use mass transit when possible. We are working closely with our agency partners to coordinate the City’s preparations for the storm." Some details from the Emergency Management office:

A low pressure system develops off of the Carolina coastline Monday before making its way up the East Coast late Monday night. According to the latest forecast, light snow is expected to begin late Monday night, and will intensify overnight into early Tuesday morning. The heaviest snowfall is expected Tuesday morning through the afternoon, with rates as much as 2 to 4 inches per hour possible. Strong winds are expected to accompany the heavy snowfall, with wind speeds 20 - 30 mph, and gusts 35 - 50 mph, creating hazardous travel conditions. The snowfall is expected to taper off Tuesday evening. A total accumulation of 12 to 18 inches is anticipated, but locally higher amounts are possible. New Yorkers should avoid driving and use mass transit where possible on Tuesday.

New York City Emergency Management also urged New Yorkers of the potential for widespread minor to locally moderate coastal flooding during the Tuesday morning high tide cycle. The National Weather Service has issued a Coastal Flood Watch from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Tuesday for areas near the coastline in Brooklyn and Staten Island, and areas along the southern shores of Queens. Minor to moderate flooding of the most vulnerable shore roads and/or properties is possible. Coastal residents should be alert for updates and take action to protect property.


The Department of Sanitation is "pre-deploying 689 salt spreaders across the five boroughs. PlowNYC will be activated and more than 1600 plows will be dispatched when more than two inches of snow accumulates," according to the press release.

Also, Alternate Side Parking is suspended Tuesday, March 14th, and Wednesday, March 15th. Citi Bike service is, at this point, still on.

It's unclear whether there will be a school snow day; last month, de Blasio called it around 6:30 p.m. the day before. (Disclosure: my husband I spent about eight hours combined yesterday trying to figure out a snow day plan for our first grader.)

NY Governor Andrew Cuomo also said that his team was "closely monitoring this storm as it develops and I am directing all state agencies to be on alert and ready to respond as the weather develops. The state will be proactively deploying resources to potentially impacted regions to stay ahead of the storm and keep New Yorkers safe. I encourage all New Yorkers in affected regions to plan ahead, and avoid any unnecessary travel as the storm progresses." His office had details about what the MTA and Port Authority were doing:

MTA

The MTA follows well-established plans to keep the region’s transit services up and running during harsh winter weather conditions. MTA personnel will continue to monitor the U.S. National Weather Service and have direct access to a customized weather prediction service that provides regularly updated weather forecasts.​
- Based on storm severity, MTA may modify or suspend revenue rail services to protect equipment and reduce weather-related rail accidents.
- ​MTA bus operations will take actions to reduce the likelihood of stranded buses and passengers and weather-related accidents based on specified triggers.
- ​During inclement weather conditions, MTA Paratransit will take certain actions to prevent stranded passengers and vehicles, and reduce the likelihood of weather-related accidents.
- ​Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North Railroad base decisions to activate contingency operations on actual and forecast conditions including snow accumulations, icing, and winds.
- ​Prior to snow events, extra managerial staff are deployed to B&T facilities and the Command Center activates its weather desk to monitor weather conditions on a continual basis.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is making extensive preparations involving personnel and equipment at all of its facilities in expectation of the strong winter storm currently forecast to begin Monday night through Tuesday. The agency’s Office of Emergency Management is in contact with other local, state and federal officials and agencies and will develop regional preparations for the upcoming storm in consultation with them.

The following equipment and supplies are available at the Port Authority’s major transportation facilities in the event of a major storm:
- Hundreds of pieces of snow equipment at the airports, including melters able to liquefy up to 500 tons of snow an hour and plows that can clear snow at 40 mph, and dozens of pieces of snow equipment at PA bridges and tunnels;
- Thousands of tons of salt and sand for airport roads, parking lots, bridges and tunnels;
- Hundreds of thousands of gallons of liquid chemicals at the airports to prevent snow and ice from bonding to runways and taxiways; thousands of tons of solid de-icers that break up snow and ice already on the ground;
- Plow-equipped trains and snow-melting materials to clear the agency’s PATH station tracks and facilities.