With an intense winter weather system known as a bomb cyclone brewing just off the east coast, New Yorkers are bracing themselves for what might be one of the biggest winter weather events of the season. Ahead of the intense weather, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul officially declared a State of Emergency beginning at 8 p.m. tonight due to the severe snowfall and gusty winds expected downstate from New York City to the lower Hudson Valley.
"Out of an abundance of caution I am declaring a State of Emergency today as this storm is poised to create dangerous travel conditions, heavy snowfall rates and sustained winds over 50 mph tonight into Saturday," Hochul stated. "My team and I are laser focused on the forecast and we've been deploying emergency response assets ahead of the storm to assist with response efforts in the downstate areas. Get home safely tonight, remain home over the weekend, avoid any unnecessary travel, and our crews will safely clear the road."
A blizzard warning is currently in place in Suffolk County, while winter storm warnings are in effect for New York City, Nassau, Rockland, Westchester, and Putnam counties. The National Weather Service expects to update the warnings as the weather begins.
"We believe this storm will bring significant snowfall to Long Island and has a real chance at impacting New York City, with snowfall rates of more than one inch per hour,” remarked Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray. “The State's Emergency Operations Center is open and closely tracking the storm, but we need New Yorkers to get home early tonight and expect heavy snow this weekend. Avoiding travel, especially on Saturday, will be critical in allowing emergency response crews from state and local agencies to do their jobs in the hardest hit areas."
In several locations downstate, including Long Island, wind is estimated to be capable of gusting up to fifty-five miles per hour and has the capability of causing power outages. Needless to say, New Yorkers might be staying inside this weekend.