With a major Nor'easter that could be one of the biggest March snowstorms on record about to take, Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a State of Emergency will take effect at midnight Tuesday covering all 62 counties in New York.
Cuomo also directed non-essential state employees impacted by the winter storm to stay home from work on Tuesday without having to charge accruals.
MTA express subway service was suspended after the rush hour Monday night in order to store trains underground on those tracks. Beginning at 4 a.m. Tuesday, above-ground service on the subway will also be suspended.
Commuters traveling on New York City Transit, Long Island Rail Road and Metro-North are encouraged to stay home Tuesday, if possible, as additional service changes are expected.
As the state continues to prepare for the storm, New Yorkers should exercise caution, avoid unnecessary travel and pay close attention to winter storm advisories as the day progresses, Cuomo said.
“To ensure our local governments have the resources and support they need to prepare and respond quickly to the impending winter storm, I am declaring a statewide state of emergency,” Cuomo said in a statement released just before 9 p.m. Monday. “With heavy snow and blizzard-like conditions expected from upstate to downstate, we are taking every precaution to keep New Yorkers safe. I urge residents to stay informed, avoid unnecessary travel, and where possible, leave work early as heavy snowfall is expected to begin tonight.”
Snow, arriving in the early morning Tuesday, will become heavy at times, with snowfall rates of up to 2 to 3 inches per hour possible at times.
By the time the Nor'easter, a convergence of two powerful storms -- one from the west and the other from the south -- wraps up during the event, parts of the area could be buried in as much as two feet of snow accumulation.
A Blizzard Warning is in effect until midnight Wednesday. During that time, the National Weather Service urges residents not to travel, saying in a statement: "Do not travel. If you must travel, have a winter survival kit with you. If you get stranded, stay with your vehicle."
Snow and snow drifts could make some roads impassable, cause airline delays and flight cancellations and possibly lead to suspension of railroad travel. Nearly all schools and school districts in the area announced closures on Monday -- well ahead of the storm's arrival. Whiteout conditions are possible, as are power outages.
A Coastal Flood Watch is in effect for Southern Westchester from noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Snow and freezing drizzle are likely to continue until around 10 p.m. Tuesday, with a chance of more snow till 3 a.m.
Wednesday will be mostly cloudy with a high only reaching 30 and scattered snow showers after 11 a.m.