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New York City and Northeast metros brace for disruptive heavy snow from potent nor’easter

New York City and other major northeastern metropolitans are bracing for a surge of snow from a potent and fast-moving nor’easter that is set to knock out power and significantly disrupt travel, work and school. Here’s the latest:
• Forecast: More than 6 inches of snow was reported across the Northeast early Tuesday, with widespread heavy snowfall expected in southeastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York and stretching into southern New England. Up to 2 inches of snowfall per hour is expected in the hardest-hit areas. But even small shifts in the storm’s path could drastically alter which cities feel the biggest impact.
• New York City: New York City could see its biggest snowfall in more than two years on Tuesday. The city is under a winter storm warning until 6 p.m., with 5 to 8 inches of snow forecasted through 3 p.m. The heaviest snow is expected from morning through noon, with winds gusting up to 30 mph.
• Boston: Boston is under a winter weather advisory until 7 p.m. The city is in store for 3 to 5 inches of snow, with the heaviest falling from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and winds gusting up to 35 mph. The snow is expected to end around 6 p.m.
• Philadelphia: Philadelphia is under a winter weather advisory until 3 p.m., with 1 to 4 inches of snowfall and wind gusts up to 30 mph expected. The city could see a mix of snow and rain, with rain ending around 2 p.m.
Officials are asking residents in major Northeast cities to avoid travel Tuesday due to severe winter weather. – Andrew Kelly/Reuters
• Power outages: More than 115,000 customers in Pennsylvania are without power Tuesday morning, according to More power outages are possible in the region as the combination of dense, wet snow and strong winds with gusts as strong as 40 mph could damage trees and down power lines, the National Weather Service said.
• Schools impacted: New York City Public Schools will be remote Tuesday. Elsewhere, classes have been canceled in city districts, including in Boston; Newark, New Jersey; and New Haven, Connecticut.
• A rough Tuesday morning commute: Officials are warning snow and rain could make for dangerous travel conditions. The heaviest snowfall is expected during New Yorkers’ morning commute. More than 250 car accidents have been reported to New Jersey State Police, Gov. Phil Murphy said during an interview on 1010 WINS Tuesday morning. In Boston, “Travel will rapidly become difficult Tuesday morning and last into the afternoon due to low visibility and snow-covered roads,” the weather service advised. Clearing roads could take some time as wet snow coupled with freezing temperatures could lead to icing, the Massachusetts governor said.
• Residents urged to stay home: Governors in several states, including New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts, are urging people to work from home and avoid non-essential travel amid concerns about blowing snow and heavy winds. The New Jersey Department of Transportation issued a commercial vehicle ban Tuesday for multiple interstate highways, in coordination with other states.
• More than 1,000 flights canceled: Air travel across the region is already being impacted. Of the more than 1,000 flight cancellations across the US on Tuesday, the majority are in or out of major airports in New York, Boston and New Jersey, according to FlightAware.
Weather advisories, watches or warnings are in place in several states. – Andrew Kelly/Reuters
• Winter storm warnings: Weather advisories and winter storm warnings stretch Tuesday from the northern tip of Virginia through Pennsylvania and up the coast from New Jersey to Massachusetts. The heaviest stretch of snow is expected to be quite narrow, and snowfall totals could vary significantly between cities separated by just 20 to 30 miles.
• Strong winds and flooding along the coast: Between 2 and 3 feet of coastal flooding is also possible during high tide from New Jersey to southern New England, including Long Island and Connecticut. The coast could see strong winds of up to 45 mph. Cape Cod could see damaging wind gusts of up to 60 mph.
Officials prepare for dangerous conditions
The snowy weather will be quite a change of pace for the region, as many cities in the Northeast are dealing with their warmest winter on record. Historically, February is the snowiest month of the year for many of the region’s major cities because of nor’easters like this one.
“It’s how Mother Nature’s sending her love for Valentine’s Day, with the biggest snow storm to hit New York City in three years,” New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said Tuesday morning on 1010 WINS. “We’ve been preparing for this, and as you can see it’s starting to develop now.”
New York City’s Central Park saw over an inch of snow before 8 a.m. Tuesday, according to the National Weather Service.
Officials are working to keep the trains and subway lines running as close to schedule as possible, Hochul said.
“People have been accustomed to a fairly mild winter, so take all the necessary precautions,” Hochul said Monday. “If you can work remotely, that’s great, because we want to make sure that our roads are clear for the plows, as always.”
The governor on Tuesday acknowledged winter storms could sometimes be treacherous, but encouraged New Yorkers to enjoy the snow.
“It’s a great day for kids to be home doing their remote learning,” Hochul said. “Make sure the kids are doing their work, but also at the end of the school day, get out there and have some fun.”
In Massachusetts, where Boston could see up to 7 inches of snow, Gov. Maura Healey warned snowfall may become too heavy for plows to keep up with.
In New Jersey, Murphy warned people to “take this one seriously” as parts of the state are eyeing up to a foot of dense, wet snow. The state’s transportation commissioner urged residents to stay home and exercise “extreme caution” if they must venture outside.
CNN Meteorologists Eric Zerkel and Sara Tonks and CNN’s Rob Frehse, Sarah Dewberry, Nic F. Anderson, Nikki Brown and Celina Tebor contributed to this report.
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