New York City, NY

Cuomo Declares State Of Emergency As Powerful Nor'easter Blasts NYC

National Preview

By Monday morning, about six inches of snow had already fallen in New York City. Preparing for the worst as a powerful nor'easter is dumping snow across the metro area and the state, along with much of the Tri-state area, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has declared a state of emergency. 

Cuomo and state officials are preparing for heavy snow and high winds to generate whiteout conditions. There's also concern that widespread power losses could be experienced. 

Cuomo declared a state of emergency in New York City and nine other counties throughout the Hudson Valley and Long Island areas.

"This storm is no joke and the main concern right now is that the expected snowfall rate of two inches per hour this afternoon creates an extremely dangerous situation on our roadways," Governor Cuomo said. 

"When snow is falling that quickly, it makes it very difficult for plows to keep up with it. I want New Yorkers to hear me loud and clear - stay home and off the roads and if you must travel, get where you're going before noon, and expect to remain home for some time. We've been through this before and we will get through it again," he said. 

State officials expect "snowfall rates to increase to 1-3 inches per hour later this morning as the storm progresses northward. Wind gusts could reach 50 mph or more on Long Island, especially eastern Long Island where 60 mph wind gusts could occur, while many places upstate could see up to 40 mph wind gusts. Blowing and drifting snow will likely cause reduced visibilities and treacherous driving conditions in some places."

The National Weather Service has published a summary of what to expect from the nor'easter in New York City.

Tens of millions of people across the Northeast are waking up Monday to 2021's first major snowstorm with up to two feet and whiteout conditions in certain areas. 

National Weather Service's Event Summary Of Major Nor'easter

A major nor'easter is dumping heavy snow from Baltimore–Washington metropolitan area to Philadelphia to New York City to Boston through Tuesday. 

Winter Storm Watches & Warnings

NBC News meteorologist Bill Karins said the Tri-State area could see the largest snowstorm in half a decade. Karins forecasts New York City could receive up to 20 inches of snow or more. 

National Weather Service's Official Snowfall Predictions

Karins said National Weather Service's New York field office is forecasting 21 inches in Central Park. "To be clear, the new forecast for NYC of 21" would equal the snow that fell in the Blizzard of 1888 and tie the 4th largest snowfall in NYC history!" he said. 

On Sunday, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said the city's school system would be closed. He said appointments for coronavirus vaccinations would be put on hold and rescheduled. 

"The last thing we want to do is urge our seniors to come out in the middle of a storm like this," de Blasio said.

He tweeted Sunday night: 

"Beginning 6 AM tomorrow, February 1, nonessential travel will be restricted in New York City. This winter storm will be dangerous with heavy snowfall and strong winds. If you can stay home, stay home. Keep the roads clear for emergency vehicles."

The 48-hour weather event could result in 1 to 2 inches per hour of snow and 40-50 mph wind gusts on Monday, indicating whiteout conditions are expected in certain areas. ABC7 meteorologist Jeff Smith said this system is a "rare snowstorm the likes of which we see every five to 10 years."

Northeastern and central New Jersey, New York City, western Nassau County, the Hudson Valley, and Connecticut are all forecasted to receive 18 inches of snow or more. The strongest winds could be seen across Long Island. 

EarthCam's live shot of Times Square as of 0659 ET.

The good news, with tens of millions of people stuck inside because of the snowstorm - and the markets opening in a few hours - they'll be able to daytrade the r/WallStreetBets most shorted stocks. The Reddit group is attempting to cause a major squeeze in silver this morning.

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