Governors Kathy Hochul and Phil Murphy have declared a state of emergency in New York and New Jersey in advance of a storm that could blanket the region with more than a foot of snow.

Hochul said her administration is preparing for the worst of the storm to hit Long Island, where a blizzard warning remains in effect in Suffolk County through 7 p.m. Saturday.

Transit officials said they were anticipating a suspension of service on Long Island Rail Road late Friday.

“Just so you know, in the middle of the night sometime we’re going to be suspending service and there will likely not be service in the morning,” MTA Chair and CEO Janno Lieber said, during a storm briefing with the governor in Melville.

“Here’s what I’m asking New Yorkers: Just stay home,” the governor said at a press briefing in Long Island.

The state of emergency, which takes effect at 8 p.m. Friday, makes it easier for the state officials to purchase equipment and supplies and transport them across county lines.

Flurries began falling in New York City Friday morning, but the heaviest snow is expected to arrive late Friday and into Saturday. One of the major concerns is powerful wind gusts which could reach up to 40 mph. Con Edison has issued a warning for residents to stay away from downed power lines.

In advance of the blizzard, more than 200 flights were canceled at the three major airports in the metro region. Officials at LaGuardia Airport, which debuted a shiny new terminal on Thursday, urged travelers to confirm their flights before coming to the airport.

At a storm briefing in Lower Manhattan, Mayor Eric Adams warned about hazardous road conditions that could include white-out conditions. 

“Visibility is going to be challenged tomorrow,” he said. 

He urged New Yorkers to stay off the roads and instead take public transportation if they are traveling. Snow is expected to begin at 8 p.m. and continue into Saturday afternoon with the possibility of more than one inch of accumulation per hour, according to Christina Farrell, the acting commissioner of the Office of Emergency Management. 

Farrell said the city was expecting heavy winds of 25 to 35 mph and gusts of up to 50 mph. She warned of frigid temperatures over the next few days. Wind chills will be below zero Saturday night.

The city’s outdoor dining and open streets programs will both be suspended on Saturday. On Sunday, alternate-side parking will also be suspended. City-run testing and vaccination sites will also be closed. Saturday vaccination appointments will be honored on Sunday, Adams said.

Between 10 to 16 inches of snow could accumulate on Long Island, with most of that set to come Saturday, Hochul said. At its peak, the storm could drop between 1 to 2 inches an hour on the island, a rapid clip. And winds are expected to be strong, with upwards of 35 mph sustained winds and gusts up to 55 mph.

In the northern suburbs of the state, the MTA's Lieber said there will also be service suspensions on some Metro-North Railroad lines, including the upper reaches of the Harlem-Wassaic line and portions of the New Haven lines, pending negotiations with the state of Connecticut.

Hochul urged Long Islanders to stay off the roads late Friday and Saturday. She went on to paraphrase a famous quote from Jimmy Griffin, the former mayor of her hometown of Buffalo.

“Sit home with a six pack of beer and wait it out,” Hochul said.

All told, state agencies and authorities have deployed more than 2,100 plows and 119,000 tons of road salt in anticipation of the storm, according to state Homeland Security Commissioner Jackie Bray.

The utility companies, meanwhile, have about 5,500 workers ready to address potential power outages, Bray said.

Earlier in the day, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency starting at 5 p.m. on Friday and urged people to stay off the roads to avoid accidents and make room for snow plows.

“We’re certainly hoping for the best but we are without question preparing for the worst,” Murphy said.

Due to the storm, the governor canceled a trip to Washington D.C. where he was scheduled to attend the National Governors Association meeting.

Parts of northeastern New Jersey could see up to a foot of snow and a blizzard warning is in effect for parts of southern Jersey.

This story has been updated with additional information.