Snow arrives, schools dismiss early as complicated evening commute awaits region

Posted at 7:29 PM, Feb 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-20 14:08:11-05

A large storm system approaching the region from the south is spreading snow across the region, promising to create a tricky afternoon commute, especially in parts of New Jersey.

Winter Weather Advisories have been posted across the entire region from noon through about 1 a.m. Thursday as the storm will make travel quite treacherous as roads are expected to turn slushy during the afternoon, especially if it has not been treated. Around 1-3 inches of snow will be possible for the bulk the region before any changeover to rain begins Wednesday night.

NYC Sanitation issued a Snow Alert for Wednesday.

“There is a snow system heading towards New York City right now,” Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Forecasts predict 1–4 inches, but we’re preparing for worse. Salt spreaders and plows will be ready. It might hit right during the evening commute, so please take mass transit if possible tomorrow.”

The New Jersey Department of Transportation issued a Winter Weather Congestion Alert for Wednesday, while Gov. Phil Murphy issued a state of emergency for the state late Tuesday.

“As a winter storm is expected to impact our State, we are urging residents of New Jersey to drive with caution and use their best judgment during this time,” Murphy said. “We are actively monitoring the storm and are prepared to deploy any resources available to ensure the safety of the roads.”

Clouds will gradually thicken through Tuesday night. It will be cold as overnight lows drop into the lower 20s in the city and teens for the rest of the suburbs.

Dozens of schools throughout the region will dismiss early.

Full list of Wednesday school closings, delays and early dismissals in NY, NJ

As of 6:30 a.m., American Airlines and regional partners have canceled about 400 flights for Wednesday. According to the airline, the cancellations are on smaller, regional aircrafts.

To check the status on their flight, click here. 

It will start out cloudy Wednesday morning, but the snow should start to in during the middle part of the day. Light snow is expected to start around noon and continue into the evening commute. Expect the evening rush hour to be quite difficult with snow covered roadways and reduced visibilities with the snow. Eventually, warmer air will filter in allowing the snow to gradually changeover to rain during the evening, but that will not happen until after the rush. There could be a few pockets where the changeover will be slower allowing for some freezing drizzle. Any ongoing precipitation should be over with before daybreak on Thursday morning.

Despite the passage of a frontal boundary late Wednesday night, Thursday will be a very warm day. Clouds should clear out early in the morning allowing for a sunny afternoon. That will allow temperatures to jump into the lower 50s during the day. While Friday is not expected to be as mild, it will still be well above normal with temperatures near 50 with sunny skies.

As for the weekend, Saturday looks fine with mostly sunny skies. Temperatures will be in the mid 40s. Another storm system arrives on Sunday. This time it looks to be an all rain event with temperatures expected to climb back into the 50s.