Snow was pummelling the Tri-State area early Tuesday as a major winter storm started moving through, promising to bring the most snowfall in years to New York City.
“It’s how Mother Nature is sending its love for Valentine’s Day — with the biggest snowstorm in more than three years,” Gov. Hochul said on 1010 WINS Tuesday morning.
The Nor’easter had only started hitting the Big Apple as it hovered over Philadelphia, but “should be full force” by 8 a.m., dumping snow at a rate of up to two inches each hour, Fox Weather Meteorologist Nikki Nolan told The Post.
By the end of the day, New York City is expected to see a full five inches — enough for sledding in Central Park for the first time since the Big Apple broke a 700-day snow drought on Jan. 16.
“We want to tell New Yorkers: don’t be fooled,” Mayor Adams told NY1.
“If you started out early today, you probably look to say, ‘Well, it’s just a little rain. What’s the big deal?’
“No, this has the potential of being a big deal.”
Speaking just before 7 a.m., MTA Chairman Janno Lieber told NBC’s “Today in New York” that the commuters will face a “healthy, robust schedule” with only a few minor delays.
“We’re rocking and rolling,” he said. “Folks who have to travel should feel comfortable we’re going to get you where you need to go.”
However, the mayor said that was no reason to head out if you can avoid it.
“We’re just really encouraging New Yorkers if you could take public transportation to so if you’re able to take stay home and work remotely to do so.”
The governor shared a similar message for those planning to drive in to the city.
“We take this very seriously,” she told 1010 WINS. “This is just not a day to be on the roads.”
West Hartford in Connecticut had already recorded seven inches by 7:30 a.m., with more still falling. Some parts of the Empire State had already surpassed five inches, including Sparta.
New Jersey is expected to get less, with under five inches forecast, Nolan said.
A Winter Storm Warning is now in effect from Pennsylvania through coastal Massachusetts through 6 p.m., and Nolan, the meteorologist, expects the worst of the snowfall will occur “as we get into the afternoon.”
At that time, strong winds are expected to pick up, with gusts of up to 40 mph in the city and on Long Island.
The high winds could cause power outages throughout the area, and on Monday, Con Edison said it secured 250 more crews to respond to any power disruptions caused by the storm.
To prevent any major accidents, the state has also “pre-deployed” 1,800 plows throughout the city and Long Island, Hochul said Tuesday morning.
Thousands of sanitation workers worked overnight to put salt on “every street, every highway, every bike lane in the city,” Department of Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch said. Plows will be deployed once accumulations reach two inches.
“Gone are the days of primary, secondary and tertiary streets for salt spreading and plowing purpose,” Tisch told reporters on Monday.
The mayor ordered all New York City schools to go remote for the storm on Tuesday.
It could also affect turnout in the nail-biter special election for former Rep. George Santos’ congressional seat.
“As close as this race has been and after the millions of dollars that have been spent, the election might be decided by the weather gods,” said Lawrence Levy, dean of the National Center of Suburban Studies at Hofstra University and a longtime observer of Long Island politics.
Some said the storm could give Tom Suozzi, a former three-term congressman, an edge as thousands more Democrats turned out during the nine days of early voting in the nail-biter race.
But conservatives angered by issues such as the festering border crisis and displeasure with President Biden might be more motivated to shovel out their car out of snow and ice and drive to the polls to vote for Mazi Pilip, a Nassau County legislator.
“It could be a problem for both parties. There’s a diversity of opinion in both parties over the impact,” Levy said.
But the storm is expected to move out of the area by around 1 to 2 p.m., Nolan said, though it may linger a little longer in Connecticut, lasting until around 3 p.m.
Conditions are then looking better for Valentine’s Day.
“It looks like we’re pretty much in the clear for tomorrow,” Nolan said, though she added that she is monitoring the potential for “a little dusting over the weekend.”