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We Talked to a Meteorologist About What NYC Can Expect from the Blizzard

Published On 01/26/2015 Published On 01/26/2015
Flickr/carnagenyc

As New Yorkers continue to deal with the threat of a potentially historic blizzard hitting the area Monday night, forecasters are keeping a close eye on models predicting the track of the storm — a variable that can significantly impact how much snow falls and where.

While the National Weather Service predicts about 20in to 30in of snow in NYC, Steve Gregory, a Chicago-based meteorologist and professional forecaster who blogs for Weather Underground, told Thrillist that based on his own forecast made from computer models Monday night, NYC might not be hit as hard:

  • The city will most likely receive about 10in to 15in of snow from the storm, he said.
  • In the best case scenario, Gregory said NYC would see about 8in of snow with about 6 more inches in eastern parts of Long Island.
  • Worst case scenario: NYC would get about 18in of snow and about 30in would fall on Long Island, he said.
  • There's a chance that the West side of Manhattan will see less snow than eastern parts of the city like Brooklyn and Queens, according ot Gregory.

"The heaviest periods of snow will start after 8pm or 9pm tonight and last through 11am tomorrow morning, which means there will be a good 14 hour period of pretty heavy snow," Gregory said. "There will also be wind gusts near 50mph in the city. This is a pretty intense storm."

Gregory also points out that temperatures will drop down to the teens early Wednesday and that forecasts show temperatures remaining well below freezing for several days, which means the accumulated snow will stick around for longer. 

In the hours prior to the storm hitting, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency for several counties and areas, including New York City. Mayor Bill de Blasio also declared a winter weather state of emergency and banned all non-emergency vehicles on city streets after 11pm, including delivery bicycles. Cuomo and MTA officials also announced that the entire MTA system will shut down at 11pm. 

Tony Merevick is Cities News Editor at Thrillist and is basically ready for anything the sky decides to dump on us tonight — well, except for the walk home tonight. Follow him on Twitter @tonymerevick

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