A long-duration, major winter storm is walloping the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, creating near-blizzard conditions along the coast. Up to 20 inches could fall in the New York City area, with the threat of moderate to major coastal flooding from howling onshore winds.

The latest developments:

  • More than 13 inches of snow has fallen in New York City, the biggest winter storm in five years. Residents are being urged to stay in their homes, and the city is under a state of emergency as it faces what could be a top-10-heaviest snowfall.
  • In parts of northern New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania, amounts have climbed as high as 20 to 25 inches, and several more inches are possible.
  • The snow is snarling travel, shutting down public transportation and halting many coronavirus vaccination efforts. Hundreds of flights have been canceled. Travel in New York City was expected to be “difficult to near impossible” through Monday afternoon, the National Weather Service reported.
  • The sprawling coastal storm is delivering heavy snowfall from the Great Smoky Mountains to Maine.
10:28 p.m.
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City-by-city forecast: Where the winter storm will rage on

As the mammoth and potentially historic winter storm lashing the Northeast continues its snowy blitz, conditions will remain unsettled or deteriorate in several major cities along the Interstate 95 corridor. Here’s what to expect:

  • Baltimore/Washington: Snow showers will continue intermittently into Tuesday. Another inch could fall around Washington, with perhaps up to 2 inches near Baltimore.
  • Philadelphia: Snow continues, moderate to heavy at times, during the overnight. Additional accumulation of 3 to 7 inches, with gusts to 30 mph causing areas of blowing snow. Snow tapers later Tuesday.
  • New York: Snow persists throughout the evening with a bit of mixing after midnight. Additional accumulation of 3 to 6 inches. Gusty winds lofting snowfall and reducing visibility.
  • Boston: Snow increases in intensity during the evening, becoming moderate to briefly heavy late. Accumulation of 4 to 8 inches. Gusty winds to 40 mph near the coast. Transition to rain Tuesday morning.

Storm snowfall totals outside these big cities have reached as high as 20 to 25 inches in northern New Jersey, eastern Pennsylvania and southeastern New York. Several inches of additional snow could fall overnight into Tuesday.

10:16 p.m.
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Water levels in New York could be the highest since Sandy

Water levels along the New York, New Jersey and Connecticut coastlines were running several feet above normal in response to onshore flow associated with the major winter storm. At the Battery in Manhattan, the seas were 3.7 feet higher than they otherwise would be, triggering pockets of moderate coastal flooding.

At Kings Point in Long Island Sound, it was a 3.3-foot margin, while the tides were two feet above predicted values in New Haven, Conn.

Minor to moderate flooding is expected at the Battery around midnight at the time of high tide.

“This will result in numerous road closures and cause widespread flooding of low lying property including parking lots, parks, lawns and homes/businesses with basements near the waterfront,” the National Weather Service wrote.

“The high tides this morning came in a little short of expectations, so I cut a little off our forecast for tonight,” said Bill Goodman, a meteorologist with the Weather Service office in New York. “If we got to 8.4, 8.5 feet, that would be top ten for the Battery. We haven’t seen water levels that high since [Hurricane] Sandy” in 2012.

Goodman is forecasting an 8.3-foot crest tonight, still on the top 20 list for the Battery.

“The water’s going to stay below the seawall. That’s the bottom line,” he reassured.

A number of nor’easter-driven surge events have affected New York in recent years. Rising seas commensurate with climate change make higher crests more frequent.

8:31 p.m.
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Storm producing snow from Tennessee to Massachusetts

The Northeast storm walloping New York City has an enormous footprint that spans from the Smoky Mountains to New England.

The heaviest snowfall is focused in a zone from just northwest of Philadelphia through Allentown, Pa., northern New Jersey, the western suburbs of New York City, northwest Connecticut and central Massachusetts.

The first report of 20 inches of snow has come in from northern New Jersey, while Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley has also been a jackpot area for heavy snow.

A less heralded significant snow event is shaping up in the Smoky Mountains, as the circulation on the storm’s backside could result in over a foot of snow in the high terrain.

7:54 p.m.
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Blizzard conditions strike Long Island amid strong winds, heavy snow

Parts of Long Island are on hour six of blizzard conditions as a potent nor’easter continues to lash the northern Mid-Atlantic, New York City Tri-State Area and New England. Accumulations on Long Island have pushed a foot locally, with snowfall rates at times exceeding three inches per hour amid the rapid pileup of snow.

Blizzard criteria are met when a location reports sustained winds and/or frequent gusts of 35 mph or more for at least three hours, along with considerable falling and or blowing/drifting snow that reduces visibilities below a quarter-mile.

In Islip, N.Y., visibilities have remained at a quarter-mile since 9 a.m., with winds gusting to 43 mph and impressive snowfall rates.

The Weather Service held off on issuing blizzard warnings because meteorologists were not confident that wind criteria would be met area-wide; thus far, blizzard conditions have not officially occurred in New York City, and probably will not. Nevertheless, it has looked and felt like a blizzard at times:

While the storm is intense, its rate of strengthening is not sufficient to generate the powerful coastal winds sometimes seen in fierce nor’easters. Gusts along the beaches have generally remained under 50 mph.

7:20 p.m.
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Snowy scenes from New York on Monday afternoon

The snow continued to pile on businesses and homes in New York on Monday afternoon as totals easily topped one foot.

Here’s what it looked like to be there in the afternoon.

6:49 p.m.
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Snow totals near 20 inches in New Jersey, top 13 inches in New York City

Extreme snowfall rates topping three inches per hour were resulting in rapid accumulations of snow across northern New Jersey and the New York City Tri-State area. An unofficial total of 19 inches was reported in Randolf, N.J., about 15 miles west-northwest of Newark, at 12:50 p.m.

Nearby Bridgewater, N.J., also reported 19 inches. Somerville, N.J., had 17 inches as of 12:30, the snow continuing to come down at more than two inches per hour.

A number of 12- to 16-inch reports peppered the map early afternoon just west of Interstate 95, with a foot give or take measured in most of New York City. Central Park had just over 13 inches, its highest single-storm amount in five years.

Totals across western Long Island ranged between eight and 12 inches, with amounts between four and eight inches farther east.

Meanwhile, the snow is beginning to relent a bit just to the east of New York City after falling fast and furious all morning. Radar indicates snowfall rates dramatically decreasing as a bit of a lull moves over western Long Island, with signs that some mixing with sleet is likely.

6:20 p.m.
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What it’s like in New York City

NEW YORK — The wind is gusting so furiously in such unpredictable patterns that it’s hard to tell if the snow is dumping down, blowing upward or hitting the ground and then bouncing back up toward the sky.

The scene reminds me of “Fantasia,” or some other cartoon where a god is standing above and waving his arms to conduct the snow like an orchestra. This one is playing “A Fifth of Beethoven,” that fast and furious instrumental from “Saturday Night Fever.”

Snow has been steady and heavy since early Sunday morning, fine and rather dry, so despite the volume, cars aren’t buried just yet. The Williamsburg Bridge is obscured in opaque gray skies, and the whole sky outside my window went white. No one is dumb enough to be driving (New York Mayor de Blasio forbade it anyway). Saw a lone husky and its forlorn owner a few minutes ago. The pedestal table on my balcony looks like a white-topped mushroom.

6:00 p.m.
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Road and transportation closures expected throughout New York City

New York residents and those leaving the state should expect closed roads and more canceled flights as the state braces for snow that’s expected to cover some areas with up to 36 inches, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) said in a news conference Monday afternoon.

The statewide storm makes it more difficult for resources and assets to be deployed to help slammed parts of the states, the governor said.

Snowplows simply cannot keep up with the expected two inches of snow per hour that is expected to continue until Tuesday, he said.

“If you are not an essential worker, you should not be on the roads,” he said.

Many roads are nearly impassable, causing the New York City Transit interim president Sarah Feinberg to announce that outdoor subway operations will be suspended as of 2 p.m. Monday. Buses will continue to operate as long as it is safe to do so, but she said it was unclear for how long.

Some bus routes could be suspended within coming hours, Feinberg said.

Snow and big wind gusts have affected flights leaving New York. Rick Cotton, executive director for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, said that about 90 percent of flights have been canceled at La Guardia Airport and the remaining are expected to see the same fate.

Newark Liberty International Airport has about four flights scheduled but those could also stay grounded, and flights at John F. Kennedy International Airport are facing difficulty because of an electrical problem, Cotton said at the news conference.

All commuter railroad service will be suspended at 3 p.m. Monday, Cotton announced.

New Yorkers who scheduled coronavirus vaccine appointments at state-run locations will be able to schedule in an upcoming date.

5:45 p.m.
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Washington and Baltimore deal with wintry mix after several inches of snow

On Sunday, the Washington-Baltimore region saw 2 to 4 inches of snow, the most in almost two years. At Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport, 3.8 inches of snow fell, a record for Jan. 31.

The snow turned to freezing rain Sunday night, leaving behind an icy glaze.

On Monday, as temperatures remained below freezing and a wintry mix of sleet, freezing rain and snow persisted, untreated roads and sidewalks were treacherous.

Monday afternoon into early Tuesday, the wintry mix is predicted to change to scattered snow showers. Washington could see a dusting to a couple inches of additional snowfall, while up to 1 to 3 inches or so could fall in Baltimore.

5:35 p.m.
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Boston prepares for major snowstorm as first flakes move in

As New York City gets hammered with blockbuster snow totals and extremely heavy snowfall rates, Boston is preparing for its encounter with winter as well. The city is expecting a general five to nine inches, with amounts quickly climbing inland in Metrowest.

Warm air blowing ashore at the mid-levels will cause some mixing with ice and rain Monday night, but areas farther inland toward the Worcester Hills could see 10 to 14 inches of a heavy, wet paste.

The Connecticut River Valley is anticipating less, with four to eight inches likely where “downsloping,” or air moving to lower elevations and drying out, could eat away at potential snowfall. A secondary maximum is, however, expected in the Berkshires.

The first of the snow was expected by early afternoon, with steady flakes already flying midday along the South Shore and some rain on the Outer Cape and Nantucket. A burst of moderate to heavy snow was moving north toward the south coast of Rhode Island and Connecticut around the same time, which will quickly boost snow totals.

Snow will fall heaviest into the late evening in Boston before potential mixing as the system pulls north into northern New England with additional heavy snow. A wintry mix is likely Tuesday.

5:17 p.m.
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Snowfall rates top 3 inches per hour as major snow band slams New York

Radar revealed extremely heavy snowfall pinwheeling into New York City. Snowfall rates of 2 to 3 inches per hour, along with thundersnow, are possible in the heaviest bands. An arc of frontogenesis, or a tightening of horizontal temperature changes at the mid levels of the atmosphere, was resulting in serious upward motion, further enhancing the potential for prolific snowfall.

A storm spotter in Somerville, N.J., reported rates of 3.5 inches per hour for two and a half hours, with 17.5 inches of snow on the ground by noon.

New York City proper is looking at another 10 to 14 inches of snow during the day, and perhaps a touch of icing or wintry mix overnight.

Initial forecasts of a potential changeover to sleet or wintry mix on Long Island appear to, at the very least, be delayed. Cold air remains entrenched on Long Island, with the rain/snow line holding steady about 10 miles offshore to the south of Nassau County. Suffolk County was even deeper into the snow, 30 miles removed from any rain.

The conditions reflect a trend toward a “boom” scenario, in which any changeover would be laggard, resulting in an even longer duration over which to accumulate significant snow.

Snow often falls heaviest north of the rain/snow line anyway, meaning the longer any boundary stalls south of Long Island, the greater snow accumulations will be in northern New Jersey and New York.

There still remains the potential for a changeover to wintry mix and eventually rain on parts of Long Island, but that won’t come until after another inch or so of moisture falls as snow — meaning another 6 to 8 inches or more is a safe bet before any potential transition.

5:15 p.m.
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Deteriorating conditions halt travel in New York, Philadelphia

Crippling travel delays and cancellations are striking the major New York-area airports, including La Guardia, where “nearly all flights” are cancelled. The majority of flights at J.F.K. Airport are cancelled too, the airfield receiving 4.1 inches of snow by 7 a.m. as heavier hands began to pivot into the region. Amounts have likely at least doubled since.

The New York Metropolitan Transit Authority warns that “service could be suspended due to snowfall,” the city restricting all non-essential travel.

At Newark International Airport, approximately 75 percent of all flights were cancelled. New Jersey Transit suspended bus and rail service to and from the airport on Monday. Newark’s AirTrain was also shut down.

Many flights into Philadelphia International Airport are cancelled, particularly those scheduled for the first half of Monday. More will likely be cancelled as the day wears on and sleet and icing continues at the airport.

On the highways, traffic is slow-going from central Pennsylvania eastward into the Philadelphia to Hartford corridor, the slowest traffic found in the vicinity of the Big Apple. Interstate 80 East was shut down leading into the city from the west until 2:30 p.m., with additional closures on 287 South, Interstate 78 West and multiple other routes.

Heavy delays were observed around 8 a.m. leading into the Lincoln Tunnel following a crash, but have since eased.

5:00 p.m.
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Cuomo declares state of emergency in nine New York counties

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) declared a state of emergency Monday morning throughout multiple counties as snow hit the state and created dangerous conditions.

In addition to New York City, the emergency covers Sullivan, Ulster, Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk counties.

About one to three more inches of snow are expected per hour with wind gusts expected to reach upward of 60 mph in certain areas.

“This storm is no joke and the main concern right now is that the expected snowfall rate of two inches per hour this afternoon creates an extremely dangerous situation on our roadways,” Cuomo said in a statement. “When snow is falling that quickly, it makes it very difficult for plows to keep up with it. I want New Yorkers to hear me loud and clear — stay home and off the roads and if you must travel, get where you’re going before noon, and expect to remain home for some time.”

The treacherous conditions prompted New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) to announce Monday that all city schools and after-school programs will be closed Monday and Tuesday and that all nonessential travel is restricted.

4:45 p.m.
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Scenes from New York and New Jersey

Residents in New York and New Jersey were enduring much of the wrath of the snowstorm Monday as amounts neared a foot in some locations by midday, with snow slated to continue through Tuesday.

Here are scenes from the near whiteout conditions: