A blizzard warning has been issued for New York City as the Northeast braces for a potentially dangerous winter storm that is already sparking a travel nightmare across the country.
Anywhere from 10-14 inches of snow is expected to fall on the Big Apple on Friday night into Saturday morning. Thirty mph winds are also part of the forecast.
The warning is in effect from 6am Friday to 1pm Saturday.
Air travelers have been warned to expect headaches at the airport when the storm hits.
In fact, more than 1,400 flights tomorrow have already been cancelled, according to FlightAware.com.
During a press conference this afternoon, Bloomberg said: ‘We hope forecasts are exaggerating the amount of snow, but you never can tell.’
Metropolitan Transit Authority chief Tom Prendergast told reporters: ‘This is a very serious storm, and we should treat it that way.’
He said that the MTA would keep a large number of trains in the system’s underground tunnels to protect them from the storm.
The Northeast is bracing for what is expected to be a ‘dangerous’ Nor’Easter tomorrow that is packing a punch of heavy rain, wind and as much as two feet of snow in some areas.
The heaviest snowfall is expected in New England – a region that has seen mostly bare ground this winter, the National Weather Service said.
The storm would hit just after the 35th anniversary of the historic blizzard of 1978, which paralyzed the area with more than as much as 40 inches of snow in some areas and hurricane force winds from February 5-7.
The approaching Nor’easter could be just as troublesome.
Meteorologist William Babcock says it’s looking like it’s going to be a very powerful storm.
If everything falls the way it has the potential to, it could be among the top 10 snowstorms in New England’s history.
Suffolk County on New York’s Long Island is under a blizzard watch, as are parts of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
‘This has the potential for being a dangerous storm, especially for Massachusetts into northeast Connecticut and up into Maine,’ said Louis Uccellini, director of the weather agency’s National Centers for Environmental Prediction.
Uccellini, who has written two textbooks on Northeastern snowstorms, said Wednesday it was too early to tell if the storm would be one for the record books.
But he said it will be a rare and major storm, the type that means ‘you can’t let your guard down.’
Other weather experts are fearing the worst.
AccuWeather meteorologist Mark Paquette told the Boston Globe: ‘I certainly expect this to be a blockbuster storm of historical proportion. I think you could see 30 inches.’
Dubbed Nemo by The Weather Channel, the storm will roll in on Friday morning, with the heaviest amounts dumped on the region that night and into Saturday as the storm moves past New England and upstate New York, the National Weather Service said.
A blizzard watch for parts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island said travel may become nearly impossible because of high winds and blowing snow.
Boston public schools will be closed tomorrow in anticipation of the storm, Mayor Thomas Menino announced.
A coastal flooding watch also is in effect for some shore communities in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Long Island.
But not everyone is cowering in fear – some are anticipating the snow.
Thanks to the ability to make their own snow, the region’s larger ski resorts aren’t as dependent on natural snowfall, though every bit helps.
At Mount Snow in Vermont, spokesman Dave Meeker said the true value of the storm will be driving traffic from southern New England northward.
‘It’s great when we get snow, but it’s a tremendous help when down-country gets snow,’ he said. ‘When they have snow in their backyards, they’re inspired.’
Assuming the snow clears out by the weekend with no major problems, ski areas in Massachusetts also were excited by the prospect of the first major snowstorm they’ve seen since October 2011.
‘We’ll be here with bells on,’ said Christopher Kitchin, inside operations manager at Nashoba Valley Ski Area in Westford, Mass. ‘People are getting excited. They want to get out in the snow and go snow-tubing, skiing and snowboarding.’