Winter storm to bring nasty mix of snow, rain before freeze

January 19, 2019 - 6:00 pm

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) – The tri-state is bracing for what is shaping up to be a rainy, nasty winter storm in the New York City area on Saturday into Sunday before a rapid freeze Sunday night threatens dangerous, icy conditions. 


Gov. Andrew Cuomo says despite the change in the forecast, with more rain than snow expected, the ice is a major concern. 

“We don’t know if we’ll have significant icing in Westchester, New York City, or not. The ice is the worst of these,” the governor said.

Cuomo said utilities are on notice, especially after last winter when thousands of Westchester customers were without power for days following storms.

A major concern for Westchester is power outages from trees and limbs falling on power lines from the weight of the ice.

Westchester County Executive George Latimer says the county is ready.

“We have done the things in preparation that we’d hoped to do,” he said. “The county police are out policing the various parkways in Westchester County – the Hutchinson River, the Cross County, Saw Mil River parkways – to help anybody in an accident or any distressed drivers.”

Con Edison spokesman Alfonso Quiroz says they are ready this time.

“In addition to our crews, we’re beefing it up with 200 other mutual aid crews, so that we have more individuals going out there and restoring power when it happens,” he said.

Saturday night forecast

Conditions Upstate are expected to be particularly bad, and at a news conference Saturday, Cuomo said the state is prepared for the worst. 

"We have 1,600 Department of Transportation plows that will be out. The Thruway Authority will have about 300 pieces of equipment," the governor said. 

A winter storm warning is in effect for Fairfield, northern Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Putnam, Passaic, Morris, Bergen and western Essex counties from noon Saturday until 6 p.m. Sunday.

A winter weather advisory is also in effect for the five boroughs and nearby suburbs, including northern Nassau and Suffolk counties, until Sunday morning. 

NYC Emergency Management issued a hazardous travel advisory for Saturday evening through Monday.

In New Jersey, Gov. Phil Murphy announced a state of emergency and travel restrictions. 

Total snow forecast

Wintry precipitation arrived west of the city Saturday evening and in the city by 8 p.m. It's expected to change to rain and ice in most locations after or before midnight, AccuWeather says. The high will be about 36 degrees before dropping to 30 Saturday night.

A coating to a few inches of snow are possible across central New Jersey, Long Island and the city, and 3 to 6 inches north and west of the city Saturday night, according to AccuWeather.

Sunday forecast

Temperatures will hover around freezing Saturday night before slowly rising into the low 40s Sunday. The rain is forecast to end by Sunday morning. 

AccuWeather says that pockets of sleet and freezing rain could create icy conditions in some areas, especially in New Jersey and the northwest suburbs, and there is a threat of urban flooding in parts of New Jersey, Long Island and New York City. 

Sunday forecast

Flight delays and cancellations are expected, with the region's major airports all tweeting that travelers should anticipate flight disruptions throughout the weekend. 

De Blasio cautioned New Yorkers via Twitter, writing that even though the forecast is changing, NYC Sanitation will remain on alert. 

It turns windy in the afternoon Sunday, with temps plummeting to the 20s in the afternoon. It then grows even colder overnight Sunday, with a low of 6 degrees and wind chills around 10 below.

The bitter cold continues Monday, with a high of 15 and wind chills near or below zero, before temperatures warm to the high 20s on Tuesday.

Not everyone's fretting about the nasty storm. At the Home Depot in Ozone Park on Saturday, a security worker named Frederick told 1010 WINS he enjoys the winter weather. 

"I love it when it's icy," he said. "I'm from Guyana. It is a hot country."