New York is preparing its emergency response teams in advance of the second “significant” winter storm expect to hit the region this weekend with a polar vortex smackdown.
Beginning Thursday and continuing through Saturday, the storm is expected to create multiple hazards throughout the state.
A piece of the polar vortex will visit NYC on Friday as a powerful storm system evolves in the Northeast US. We wrote about the many hazards that this storm will bring to our area – including heavy rain, flooding, gusty winds and a rapid temperature drop. https://t.co/PqvohibIvx pic.twitter.com/q46Gjz49JN
— New York Metro Weather (@nymetrowx) December 21, 2022
Heavy, rain, snow, high winds, flash freezing and flooding are all on the agenda for regions across the state, forecasters said.
Lake effect snow is expected to wallop the areas along Lakes Erie and Ontario beginning Friday night and continuing straight through until Monday, with total snow accumulations expected to reach 12 inches or more. Strong winds are expected to causing blowing and drifting snow with near-zero visibility and localized blizzard conditions.
Rain and snow showers are forecast for much of the state, with rainfall of up to three inches possible in some places by Friday afternoon. New Yorkers are lucky it’s rain, however: three inches of rain equals 30 inches (two and a half feet) of snow.
However, flooding is predicted due to rain and snowmelt, and brief wintry mixes could cause slick travel into early Friday morning.
The biggest risk will arrive on Friday afternoon and evening, when plummeting temperatures will mean flash freezing that will cause icy road conditions throughout the state, including New York City and Long Island, during the Friday evening commute and into the weekend. Wind chills in the New York metropolitan area are expected to drop to zero degrees Fahrenheit — minus 18 degrees Celsius.
Those temperatures and low wind chill factors are expected to continue through Monday in the upstate regions.
“New Yorkers preparing to travel this week to see loved ones over the holiday weekend should plan ahead and leave early in possible, as we expect this weather system to create hazardous travel conditions throughout the state starting Friday,” Governor Kathy Hochul said.
Get Ready, Chicago
Before the storm hits New York, however, forecasters are warning people to hunker down in Chicago.
Dangerously cold temperatures, strong wind gusts, snow accumulation and blizzard-like conditions are on the way to the Windy City from the western plains, where the storm has already arrived.
This is what snow looks like in 40-50 mph wind. This is what #Chicago area roads will look like Thursday night…@nbcchicago https://t.co/tQ2Ladcax5
— Paul Deanno (@PaulDeannoNBC5) December 22, 2022
The storm is expected to hit the Chiago area with between three to six inches of snow, NBC 5 reported, with sub-zero wind chills in the city forecast from Thursday evening through Sunday.
It's not just the snow.
*Wind gusts 45-55+ mph during/after the storm.
*Blizzard conditions possible.
*Visibility near zero for at least part of Friday.
*Wind chill readings as low as -35°.@nbcchicago https://t.co/ILr37dNZdS
— Paul Deanno (@PaulDeannoNBC5) December 20, 2022
“Welcome to winter,” meteorologist Paul Deanno wrote in a wry tweet.