Tag Archives: NWS

More snow on its way to NYC


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Updated 9:45 p.m.

Another storm is set to strike the area late Tuesday night into Wednesday, just as the city is recovering from a significant snowfall that dropped around eight inches on the city Monday.

“The snowstorm situation is really getting a little too common,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said at press conference Tuesday morning, asserting that the city is prepared for another storm.

He said this storm’s mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain and milder temperatures will help mitigate its impact.

But “be ready for a difficult morning commute,” he warned, and urged New Yorkers to use mass transit when possible.

A  “hazardous travel advisory” is in effect for the area Wednesday, the New York City Office of Emergency Management said.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning from midnight through 6 p.m. Wednesday, with two to four inches of snow predicted as well as about one third of an inch of ice.

The snow will start after midnight, then change to a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain around daybreak, according to NWS. The precipitation should taper off the early evening commute. Highs Wednesday will be in the low 30s.

Alternate side parking remained suspended Tuesday and will be suspended again on Wednesday to facilitate snow removal, but meters will still be in effect.

The Department of Sanitation has issued a ‘snow alert’ for Tuesday, starting at 10 p.m.  and will be deploying its snow fighting equipment as needed.

To track the progress of DSNY clearing operations throughout the five boroughs, click here.

The MTA said is preparing for the possibility of ice building up during the Wednesday morning rush hour, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Customers, however, should prepare for potential delays or service suspensions, and are urged to monitor service status on the MTA’s website before leaving their homes Wednesday morning.

The city’s subway cars will be moved and stored underground on express tracks overnight, which will affect express service on portions of certain lines into Wednesday morning. Bus service will run at 85 to 90 percent capacity and some suspensions are possible on a route-by-route basis.

The MTA has canceled Fastrack maintenance on the A and C lines in Brooklyn for the rest of the week.

The Long Island Rail Road expects to operate on a regular weekday schedule throughout Wednesday.

Metro-North plans to reduce morning rush hour service by 18 percent to accommodate heavy snowfall predicted for Westchester and the lower Hudson Valley, and will combine 27 of the usual 154 morning rush hour trains.

 

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Winter storm warning issued for NYC


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

Updated 4:20 p.m.

Colder temperatures and potentially heavy snow are expected to hit the New York City area Tuesday and could make for a messy commute home.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a winter storm warning from 12 p.m. Tuesday to 6 a.m. Wednesday.

The New York City Department of Sanitation is preparing to take on any potential bad weather and has issued a snow alert, starting at 9 a.m. Tuesday. Alternate side parking will be suspended tomorrow to facilitate with snow removal, but payment at parking meters remains in effect.

Six to 10 inches of snow are expected in the city, according to NWS. The flakes will start falling around 1 p.m. tomorrow and continue overnight.

The high will be near 23, with winds 11 to 15 mph, according to NWS. Temperatures at night will be chilly with a low around 10 and wind chill values as low as -4. Winds Tuesday night will be  18 to 25 mph.

Though the snow will end by Wednesday, highs will remain around the high teens to low to mid-twenties and lows in the teens for the next few days.

 

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Tips for extreme cold during record-breaking temps


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Cristabelle Tumola

New Yorkers were bundling up as best they could to deal with a record-breaking day of bitter temperatures.

At 4 degrees, Central Park broke a 118-year record low for Jan. 7, according to NBC New York.

The National Weather Service (NWS) also reported record low temperatures at JFK airport (6 degrees), LaGuardia Airport (4 degrees), Newark Airport (3 degrees) and Islip, Long Island (7 degrees) for this date.

The wind is making the cold temperatures feel even colder. As of 9:00 a.m., wind chills were -17 in Central Park, -14 at JFK, -16 at LaGuardia, -16 at Newark and -14 in Islip, according to NWS.

The city’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM) is advising all New Yorkers that “prolonged exposure to extreme cold weather can be deadly.”

Populations, such as seniors and infants, are most at risk during extreme weather events, so it’s important to check on friends, family and neighbors if you think they need help getting to a warm place, said the OEM. The NYC Department of Health and Mental Health is encouraging everyone to stay inside as much as possible.

“I urge all New Yorkers to find a warm place to stay to avoid hypothermia, frostbite, and other life-threatening health conditions,” said Mayor de Blasio. “City agencies have taken a number of steps to prepare for this cold weather, including alerting vulnerable populations and doubling outreach efforts to homeless individuals. As we enter this cold period it’s also important to make sure you are heating your home safely. Never use gas stoves or portable gas heaters indoors to heat your home, as those can lead to fire or dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.”

City agencies have been working ahead of the freezing weather to prepare New Yorkers for the cold:

Office of Emergency Management

  • Activated the City’s Winter Weather Emergency Plan in response to the forecasted low temperatures and wind chills.
  • Convened Winter Weather Call with more than 35 city agencies to coordinate city actions.
  • Activated the Advance Warning System (AWS) to alert vulnerable New Yorkers about the impending cold weather.

Department for the Aging

  • All senior centers will only be open Tuesday for lunch beginning at 11 a.m. Senior centers will close after lunch is served.
  • Case management agencies will make calls to check on homebound seniors and high-risk clients during the cold weather.

Department of Buildings

  • Issued a weather advisory alerting property owners and contractors to secure construction sites in advance of inclement weather and high winds. The advisory remains in effect for Monday, January 6 through Tuesday, January 7.
  • The Department will be performing random spot-check inspections of construction sites around the City. If sites are not safely secured, the Department will take immediate enforcement action with the issuance of violations and Stop Work Orders if necessary.
  • The Department has additional staff on standby as part of its Emergency Response Team, which performs emergency and after-hours emergency response in coordination with OEM, NYPD, FDNY, and other involved agencies.

Department of Homeless Services (DHS)

  • DHS continues to use its Cold Weather Emergency Procedure, called Code Blue, to protect unsheltered individuals, who are more at risk for exposure deaths during the cold winter months. During Code Blue conditions, DHS doubles its outreach efforts

Department of Transportation

  • Alternate side parking is suspended for Tuesday, January 7.
  • Bridge and Staten Island Ferry crews are ready with anti-icing crews and equipment.

Health & Hospitals Corporation

  • Emergency rooms are open.
  • All other patient care services are open.

Department of Housing Preservation and Developement

  • Code Inspectors are working extended hours to address heat complaints.

Human Resources Administration

  • HRA’s case management programs for vulnerable New Yorkers, including Adult Protective Services, Domestic Violence, HIV/AIDS Services and Homecare Services, are working with clients who have been identified as having insufficient heat. HRA’s Home Care Services Program has asked their vendors to report if there is any client who has no heat or electricity.

NYCHA

  • NYCHA has prepared a flyer that will be posted in all 2,600 public housing buildings and also translated into Spanish, Russian and Chinese, to warn residents of the coming cold temperatures and ask that they check in on vulnerable neighbors.
  • NYCHA will have additional teams of heating, plumbers and electricians to respond to any potential heat and hot water outages or any other weather related emergency.

PARKS

  • Parks will be inspected for homeless conditions. Parks and DHS will provide services for any individuals attempting to stay overnight in parks.
  • Lakes and water bodies are being monitored for ice formation.

Department of Education

Department of Design and Construction

  • Canceled all water shutdowns for DCC street infrastructure projects.
  • Ensuring that all public-buildings sites are secured and prepared for frigid temperatures.

Check on Neighbors, Friends, Relatives and Clients

  • Home visiting and social service agencies should activate their cold emergency plans, and reach out in advance to their clients to make sure they’re aware of the cold and snow.
  • If you are concerned about someone on the street who may be homeless and in need of assistance call 311 and ask for the Mobile Outreach Response Team. The Department of Homeless Services will send an outreach team to the location to assess the individual’s condition and take appropriate action.
  • If your building is cold, check on your neighbors. If you know someone who is vulnerable and lacking heat, help them get to warm places and notify the builing manager and/or call 311 to get heat restored. If you see someone with signs of hypothermia such as confusion, shivering, slurred speech, drowsiness call 911 for help and help the person get warm while waiting for help.
  • Landlords and building managers should check their building systems to ensure heat, and check on vulnerable people

Health problems resulting from prolonged exposure to cold include hypothermia, frostbite and exacerbation of chronic heart and lung conditions. Recognize the signs and symptoms of hypothermia and frostbite:

  • Hypothermia is a life-threatening condition where the body temperature is abnormally low. Symptoms may include shivering, slurred speech, sluggishness, drowsiness, unusual behavior, confusion, dizziness, and shallow breathing. Some people, such as infants, seniors, and those with chronic diseases and substance abuse problems can get sick quicker. Check on friends, relatives, and neighbors who may need assistance to ensure they are adequately protected from the cold.
  • Frostbite is a serious injury to a body part frozen from exposure to the cold. It most often affects extremities like fingers and toes or exposed areas such as ears or parts of the face. Redness and pain may be the first warning of frostbite. Other symptoms include numbness or skin that appears pale, firm, or waxy.

Provide first aid:

  • If you suspect a person is suffering from frostbite or hypothermia, call 911 to get medical help.
  • While waiting for assistance to arrive, help the person get warm by getting them to a warm place if possible, removing any damp clothing and covering them with warm blankets.

What to Do if You Lose Heat or Hot Water at Home

The heat season began on October 1, 2013, and continues through May 31, 2014. During heat season, residential owners with tenants are required by law to maintain an indoor temperature of at least 68 degrees Fahrenheit between 6 AM and 10 PM when the outdoor temperature falls below 55 degrees. Between 10 PM and 6 AM, building owners must maintain an indoor temperature of 55 degrees when the outside temperature falls below 40 degrees. Hot water is required to be maintained at 120 degrees.

Any New York City tenant without adequate heat or hot water should first speak with the building owner, manager, or superintendent. If the problem is not corrected, tenants should call 311. The Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) will take measures to ensure that the building owner is complying with the law. This may include contacting the building’s owner and/or sending an inspector to verify the complaint and issue a violation directing the owner to restore heat and hot water if appropriate. If the owner fails to comply and does not restore service, HPD may initiate repairs through its Emergency Repair Program and bill the landlord for the cost of the work. HPD also may initiate legal action against properties that are issued heat violations, and owners who incur multiple heat violations are subject to litigation seeking maximum litigation penalties and to continued scrutiny on heat and other code deficiencies.

Take measures to trap existing warm air and safely stay warm until heat returns, including:

  • Insulate your home as much as possible. Hang blankets over windows and doorways and stay in a well-insulated room while the heat is out.
  • Dress warmly. Wear hats, scarves, gloves, and layered clothing.
  • If you have a well maintained working fireplace and use it for heat and light, but be sure to keep the damper open for ventilation. Never use a fireplace without a screen.
  • If the cold persists and your heat is not restored call family, neighbors, or friends to see if you can stay with them.
  • Do not use your oven or fuel-burning space heaters to heat your home. These can release carbon monoxide, a deadly gas that you cannot see or smell.
  • Open your faucets to a steady drip so pipes do not freeze.

Safe Home Heating Tips

Improper use of portable heating equipment can lead to fire or dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. Take precautions to ensure you are heating your home safely.

Fire safety tips:

  • Make sure you have a working smoke alarm in every room. Test them at least once a month and change the batteries twice a year.
  • Use only portable heating equipment that is approved for indoor use. Space heaters are temporary heating devices and should only be used for a limited time each day.
  • Keep combustible materials, including furniture, drapes, and carpeting at least three feet away from the heat source. Never drape clothes over a space heater to dry them.
  • Never leave children alone in the room where a space heater is running. Always keep an eye on heating equipment. Turn it off when you are unable to closely monitor it.
  • Plug space heaters directly into a wall outlet. Never use an extension cord or power strip. Do not plug anything else into the same outlet when the space heater is in use. Do not use space heaters with frayed or damaged cords.
  • If you are going to use an electric blanket, only use one that is less than 10 years old from the date of purchase. Also avoid tucking the electric blanket in at the sides of the bed. Only purchase blankets with an automatic safety shut-off.

Carbon monoxide safety tips:

  • Carbon monoxide comes from the burning of fuel. Therefore, make sure all fuel-burning devices such as furnaces, boilers, hot water heaters, and clothes dryers are properly vented to the outdoors and operating properly. If you are not sure, contact a professional to inspect and make necessary repairs.
  • Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector. Most homes and residential buildings in New York City are required by law to have carbon monoxide detectors installed near all sleeping areas. Owners are responsible for installing approved carbon monoxide detectors. Occupants are responsible for keeping and maintaining the carbon monoxide detectors in good repair.
  • If you have a working fireplace keep chimneys clean and clear of debris.
  • Never heat your home with a gas stove or oven, charcoal barbecue grill, or kerosene, propane, or oil-burning heaters.
  • The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are non-specific and include headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, sleepiness, trouble breathing, and loss of consciousness. Severe poisonings may result in permanent injury or death.

If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, call 911, get the victim to fresh air immediately, and open windows.

If You Need Emergency Heating Assistance

The Human Resources Administration (HRA) administers the federal Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP), which provides low-income people with emergency heating assistance. Eligible residents will receive a payment for fuel delivery, or HRA will arrange for fuel delivery or boiler repair. Emergency assistance is given to those who qualify only once per heating season. Call 311 for more information.

Homeless Outreach

The Department of Homeless Services (DHS) continues to use its Cold Weather Emergency Procedure, called Code Blue, to protect unsheltered individuals, who are more at risk for exposure deaths during the cold winter months. During Code Blue conditions DHS doubles its outreach efforts. Community members that identify someone on the street they believe needs assistance should call 311 and ask for the Mobile Outreach Response Team; in any emergency community members should call 911. The Department of Homeless Services will send an outreach team to the location to assess the individual’s condition and take appropriate action.

Outreach workers are on the streets 24 hours a day, seven days a week and are trained to:

  • Identify and regularly monitor individuals who may be at risk during cold weather.
  • Engage at-risk individuals and persuade them to voluntarily come indoors.

During a Code Blue Cold Weather Emergency, housing options for the homeless include the following:

Shelters: During a Code Blue, homeless adults can access any shelter location for single individuals. Beds are available system-wide to accommodate anyone brought in by outreach teams or walk-ins.

Drop-in centers: All drop-in centers are open 24 hours a day when Code Blue procedures are in effect, taking in as many as people as possible for the duration of inclement weather. Drop-in staff also can make arrangements for homeless individuals at other citywide facilities.

Safe havens and stabilization beds: Chronically homeless individuals may be transported to these low-threshold housing options where they may go directly from the street to a bed.

For more information about cold weather safety and how you can prepare for emergencies call 311 or visit www.nyc.gov/oem.

Staying in Touch with OEM
The Office of Emergency Management communicates directly with the public through a variety of tools, including Notify NYC. This is just one way the City of New York communicates urgent information to city residents. In addition to sending e-mails, text messages, and phone calls, the emergency notification office has the ability to activate NYC’s Emergency Alert System (EAS), which sends information immediately via television and radio. Residents can also visit Facebook, Twitter, and the agency’s website, nyc.gov/oem for more information. The public can sign up for Notify NYC by calling 311 or going to www.NYC.gov/notifynyc.

 

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Hercules flexing his muscles in first storm of 2014


By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/File photo

Updated Friday, January 3, 7:05 a.m.

The year is starting out with a shot of nasty weather that is predicted to bring near-blizzard conditions to the city.

Governor Andrew Cuomo declared a statewide state of emergency Thursday afternoon to prepare officials for winter storm Hercules, which is forecasted to bring five to nine inches of snow to the city.

“To ensure an effective and rapid response to this winter storm, I am declaring a statewide state of emergency, so resources can get to communities where they are needed as quickly as possible,” he said.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a winter storm warning until 1 p.m. Friday.

Cuomo also announced the Long Island Expressway will be closed from midnight to 8 a.m. on Friday from the Queens/Nassau County border and east. The Northern State Parkway and all MTA bridges and tunnels will remain open.

“As this winter storm unfolds, bringing heavy snow and high winds to many parts of the state, I strongly urge all New Yorkers to exercise caution, avoid travel and stay indoors,” he said.

Mayor Bill de Blasio emphasized the “forecast could change at any moment.”

“That’s why it’s so important for everyone to pay close attention to updates in the coming hours,” he said at his administration’s first press conference Thursday evening.

Alternate side parking has been suspended Friday to facilitate with snow removal, but payment at parking meters remains in effect.

All express subway service will run local for the start of the morning rush hour, until all stored trains are moved from the express tracks. Riders should expect delays on city buses due to the weather. The Long Island Rail Road is operating on a weekend schedule effective 12:01 a.m. Friday. The Metro-North is running on a reduced schedule after 8  p.m. Thursday, and a Saturday schedule on Friday. To see any additional MTA service changes, click here.

The weather is also affecting air travel. All flights at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) were suspended as of about 6:12 a.m., but the airport will remain open. Flights could resume in a couple of hours, said the FAA. Thousands of flights have reportedly been canceled across the country Friday, and travelers are urged to check with their carriers before heading to the airport.

City officials have no plan to close specific streets yet, but will monitor that need as the storm progresses, de Blasio said.

The City of New York Department of Sanitation (DSNY) has put 2,300 workers on 12-hour shifts, and 1,700 trucks with snow plows will be deployed once two inches of snow hit the ground. To track the progress of DSNY clearing operations throughout the five boroughs, click here.

Kew Gardens and South Ozone Park had accumulated more than 5 inches of snow as of 4 a.m., according to NWS.

Senior centers throughout the city will be closed through Friday, and de Blasio urged city residents to keep a close eye on the homeless population.

Joe Bruno, the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) commissioner, said the NYPD, FDNY, EMS and other emergency officials will “work around the clock until this is over.”

OEM has issued a hazardous travel advisory for Friday, and is warning motorists to drive slowly, monitor weather and traffic, use major streets or highways, and have the name and number of at least one local towing service.

Temperatures will be blustery, with a high Friday of 17 and low around 8. Wind chill, however, could make the weather feel as cold as 10 below zero, de Blasio said.

Borough residents hit grocery stores and gas stations Thursday afternoon to prepare for the impending storm. People were piling into the Waldbaums on Francis Lewis Boulevard just “picking up extras,” but said “the crazies” would be sure to clear the shelves in the hours to come.

“I’m getting extras just in case,” said Anita Oberwiler, who anticipated frantic shoppers to come rushing through as the afternoon pressed on.

 

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City to get another round of snow


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

Get ready for some more snow.

For the third time in a week, another round of flakes will hit New York City.

The New York City Department of Sanitation has issued a “snow alert” starting at 4 a.m. Tuesday and will be deploying its snow fighting equipment as needed. Alternate side parking has been suspended Tuesday to facilitate with snow removal, but payment at parking meters remains in effect.

The New York City Office of Emergency Management has also  issued a “travel advisory” for tomorrow.

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), 2 to 4 inches of snow are expected Tuesday.

The flakes will start falling after 3 a.m., but could mix with rain before tapering off in the afternoon. The high tomorrow will be around 35.

Tuesday night the low will be around 24 with a chance of snow, mainly before 7 p.m.., according to the NWS.

 

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NYC to get more snow this weekend


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

Updated Saturday, December 14 10:10 a.m.

After one snowfall earlier this week, the city will be hit with another round of flakes this weekend.

The New York City Department of Sanitation has issued a “snow alert” starting at 8 a.m. Saturday and will be deploying its snow fighting equipment as needed. Alternate side parking has been suspended Saturday to facilitate with snow removal, but payment at parking meters remains in effect.

The city’s Office of Emergency Management has also issued a “hazardous travel advisory” for Saturday.

The snow will start falling Saturday morning, with 4 to 6 inches of snow accumulation expected and a high of 31, according to the National Weather Service (NWS). Around 10 p.m., the flakes will begin turning to rain.

The rain should stop by mid-day Sunday and temperatures will be warmer, with a high of 43, according to the NWS. But it will be breezy, with winds at 16 to 21 mph.

For anyone traveling on public transportation this weekend, the MTA said has plans in place to keep its transit services up and running during bad winter weather conditions. The transit agency has cancelled scheduled weekend work with these exceptions. To see any MTA service changes, click here.

 

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Snow hits New York City; 3 to 5 inches expected


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Cristabelle Tumola

Winter is still more than a week away, but the snowflakes are already falling.

The New York City Department of Sanitation issued a “snow alert” starting at 6 a.m. Tuesday. Alternate side parking has been suspended today to facilitate with snow removal, but payment at parking meters remains in effect.

The snowy weather will continue throughout the day, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).  A winter weather advisory is in effect until 5 p.m., with 3 to 5 inches of snow predicted in the city. Drivers should expect icy and dangerous travel conditions.

For anyone traveling on public transportation, the MTA said has plans in place to keep its transit services up and running during bad winter weather conditions.  To see any MTA service changes, click here.

 

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Snow starts in New York as city braces for blizzard


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

queenssnow-540x405

UPDATE 4:30 p.m.:  Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared a state of emergency for New York.

“As this winter storm unfolds, bringing heavy snow and high winds to parts of the state, I strongly urge all New Yorkers to exercise caution, avoid travel, and stay indoors,” said Cuomo. “To ensure an effective and rapid response to this winter storm, I am declaring a state of emergency for counties in the lower Hudson Valley, New York City, and Long Island so resources can get to communities where they are needed as quickly as possible.”

——–

Early Friday morning the snow began falling, but the worst of the weather is still to come.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a blizzard warning from the New York City area that will remain in effect until 1 p.m. Saturday. Ten to 14 inches of snow are expected as well as strong winds at 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 45 mph.

During the day Friday, the warmer temperatures will bring a mix of rain and snow, but the precipitation will turn to all snow by 3 p.m., with the worst storm conditions forecasted for tonight. The snow should taper off on Saturday morning.

Both the city and local residents are taking the blizzard warning seriously.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg issued a severe weather advisory for the city, and, even though the schools are open today, cancelled all after-school programs and PSAL games have been cancelled.

Yesterday, at a storm press briefing, the mayor also assured residents that the snow plows and salt spreaders are ready to go.

City residents can track the progress of the Department of Sanitation‘s clearing operations for their specific street online.

Alternate side parking is suspended citywide through Sunday, but if your vehicle is found blocking roadways or hindering the ability to plow streets, it may be towed at the owner’s expense.

Though the city’s weather advisory urged the public to use public transportation and avoid unnecessary driving during the duration of the storm.

Because many commuters are likely to head home early today before the heavy snow begins, the Long Island Railroad and Metro-North have added extra trains.

Despite the additional transit and warnings to stay off the road, drivers still made sure to fill up their tanks Thursday. As a result, several area gas stations are experiencing long lines reminiscent of the Sandy gas shortage.

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NYC area prepares for major snow storm


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

For the first time this winter, the city is getting ready for a potentially powerful snow storm.

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), the flakes should start falling early Friday morning and the bad weather will continue through Saturday.

Earlier in the day, the NWS  issued a winter storm watch for all of New York City and other parts of the tri-state area, but by the afternoon had changed it to a blizzard warning with 10 to 14 inches of snow expected.

In addition to snow, the storm will bring powerful winds at 20 to 30 mph with gusts up to 45 mph, and a mixture of rain and sleet, particularly on Friday, making for slippery conditions and possible power outages.

There is also a coastal flooding watch for western Long Island Sound and the Twin Forks of Long Island, said the NWS.

At a briefing on the city’s storm preparations this morning Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that the forecasts may be exaggerating the amount of snow, but you never know.

Bracing for the worst case scenario, the city is ready with more than 250,000 tons of salt, 350 salt spreaders and plows for 1,800 sanitation trucks, said the mayor.

City residents can track the progress of the Department of Sanitation‘s clearing operations for their specific street online.

Con Ed also said it is preparing for the storm and any outages it may cause.

To report any outages and downed power lines, or to check service restoration status, customers can visit  www.coned.com/ReportOutage or call -800-75-CONED (1-800-752-6633).

 

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Significant winter storm heading to Northeast


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Map courtesy of NWS

A storm system that already brought snow, tornadoes and other severe weather to the central and southern U.S. will hit the Northeast today and tomorrow, further disrupting holiday travel.

Though, according to the National Weather Service (NWS), the snow is expected in the upper Ohio Valley and the interior Northeast, locally it will mainly bring rainy and windy conditions.

In New York City, a wintry mix of rain, snow, and sleet will start this afternoon, but is expected to turn to just rain after about 4 p.m., and could be heavy at times.

The NWS has also issued a high wind warning for the area, from 4 p.m. today until 6 a.m. Thursday, with 25 to 40 mph winds with gusts up to 60 mph. There is also a coastal flood warning from 8 p.m. Wednesday until midnight

The storm’s timing could also impact holiday travelers throughout the U.S.

As of this morning, the storm has already caused the cancellation of over 325 flights around the U.S., reported CBS New York, but at least one airline, US Airways, is waiving cancelation fess for travelers that need to change their flights because of the weather.

Morning Roundup: Hurricane edition


| ctumola@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Google Maps

NYC HURRICANE FORECAST 

National Weather Service:

Hazardous Weather Outlook

High Wind Warning

Coastal Flood Warning

Flood Watch 

Monday: Rain. The rain could be heavy at times. High near 61. Very windy, with a northeast wind 36 to 45 mph, with gusts as high as 65 mph. Chance of precipitation is 100%. New precipitation amounts between a half and three quarters of an inch possible. Monday night: rain. The rain could be heavy at times. Low around 54. Very windy, with a northeast wind 38 to 43 mph becoming southeast 32 to 37 mph after midnight. Winds could gust as high as 75 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New precipitation amounts between 1 and 2 inches possible.

Tuesday:  Showers likely. Cloudy, with a high near 61. Windy, with a south wind around 29 mph, with gusts as high as 48 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible. Tuesday night Showers likely. Cloudy, with a low around 49. South wind 15 to 18 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New precipitation amounts between a tenth and quarter of an inch possible.

Hurricane Sandy updates

Check out the latest news on Hurricane Sandy. Read more: Queens Courier

Many Rockaway residents ignore evacuation, remain home

Despite calls from elected officials in the area, many Rockaway residents say they’re staying, and have hunkered down for the impacts of Hurricane Sandy. Read more: Queens Courier

Con Ed prepping for storm, potential power outages

The high winds and heavy rains expected with Hurricane Sandy may knock out power in areas of the city.  In preparation for the storm, Con Edison has thousands of employees working around the clock to respond to any problems with electric, gas, and steam systems. Read more: Queens Courier

Bracing for storm, U.S. stock markets to close

All United States stock and options markets will close on Monday as Hurricane Sandy approaches, as Wall Street braces for the storm to barrel through the heart of the country’s financial center. Read more: New York Times

Obama cancels Florida campaign trip, returns to DC

President Barack Obama is canceling a planned campaign appearance in Florida and returning to Washington to oversee the federal government’s response to the ever-threatening Hurricane Sandy. Read more: AP

Some see opportunity in storm, no transit

New Yorkers who rely on the subway to get around are out of luck today. Read more: Fox 5 New York

 

 

Above average snowfall to hit city this winter: report


| brennison@queenscourier.com

File photo

After a relatively snow-free winter last year, New Yorkers will need to get their shovels out of the shed and dig in this winter.

A report from accuweather.com said the Northeast will be hit with an above average amount of snowfall this year. Average snowfall in the city is 25 inches, meaning the city is forecasted for well above two feet of snow this year.

Last winter, residents had to deal with only five inches of powder, a far cry from the more than 50 that blanketed the city the year prior.

Despite the report, meteorologists from the National Weather Service (NWS) said it is still too early to predict this winter’s snowfall.

“At this time there is about an equal chance of average, above average or below average precipitation this winter,” David Stark, meteorologist from the NWS, said.

New York was in a La Nina winter last year, said Stark.  This year’s outlook is looking at a neutral or El Nino winter, which may have, as of now, an unknown effect on the season’s weather, he said.

Stark did add that one aspect of the city’s winter will be above average; the NWS’s Climate Prediction Center said New York has 30 percent chance of seeing above normal temperatures this winter.

Tornado touches down in Queens


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Breezy

More than a breeze spun through Breezy Point last weekend as a tornado touched down, disrupting the oceanside community.

Trees and roofs took the brunt of the damage during the twister that tore through Queens on Saturday, September 1. Several roofs were torn off at the Breezy Point Surf Club.

Nobody was hurt at the club, said General Manager Bob Ordan, and he expects cleanup to last a couple of more weeks.

“We’re lucky the storm hit this weekend and not last weekend,” Councilmember Eric Ulrich said, who surveyed the damage in the area shortly after the storm. “Because last weekend the Surf Club was filled with people.”

Saturday saw a lot of wind shear in the atmosphere, which is the turning of winds and a key ingredient in tornadoes, said National Weather Service (NWS) meteorologist Joey Picca. The moisture and storms in the area combined with the wind shear resulted in the tornado. Winds were estimated at 70 mph, placing it at the lower end of the Enhanced Fujita Scale, which measures the storms.

Joey Mure, 16, just got home from the gym when he saw the tornado across the water near Coney Island.

“I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “It was huge.”

The Breezy Point resident said he could hear a whistle from the storm, but that was soon overtaken by the sounds of sirens.

This is not the first time a tornado has touched down in Queens in recent years. The city has experienced an uptick in these cyclones, though Picca said it is too short of a period to say with certainty that a trend is developing. Between 1950 and 2010, the area was hit with 10 tornadoes.

“We’re much better at observing tornadoes now. So it’s certainly possible that long ago there were one or two that were missed,” he said.

Assemblymember Philip Goldfeder said in the future he hopes warning times for tornadoes can be increased.

“When people started to see [the tornado] was the first time we got the warning,” he said.

The NWS put out a tornado warning at 10:55 a.m., minutes before the wind tunnel landed in Queens.

Picca said weaker twisters are harder to detect ahead of time resulting in warning times of mere minutes.

Mure said he hopes there is not a need for a warning anytime soon.

“I hope I never see one again.”

 

Flash flood warning issued for Queens


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Heavy rains may cause flash floods throughout the borough.

The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a flash flood warning for Queens lasting until 2 p.m.

More than an inch of rain has already fallen in parts of Queens and one to two more inches is possible.

Some flooding is already occurring and is imminent other places, the NWS said.

The southbound Van Wyck Expressway at exit 6, the eastbound Grand Central Parkway between the Long Island Expressway and Jewel Avenue and the eastbound Long Island Expressway at Francis Lewis Boulevard are closed.

Highways, underpasses and other low-lying spots are most vulnerable to flooding.

The NWS warned that just one foot of flood water is enough to sweep a vehicle off the road.

 

Severe thunderstorm watch issued in Queens


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Severe thunderstorms currently over New Jersey are expected to strike Queens in the late afternoon.

The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a severe thunderstorm watch for the area with damaging winds and hail possible.

The borough last week dealt with an intense storm that knocked out power to thousands of residents while knocking down branches throughout Queens.

Rain is forecasted to begin falling at about 3 p.m. The watch will remain in effect until 11 p.m.