Forecasters say the U.S. East Coast from New York City to Boston should be on high alert for an approaching blizzard. The authorities are warning residents to prepare for the possibility of widespread power outages, road closures and flight disruptions.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced preparations for the so-called Nor'easter storm, activating the state Emergency Operations Center as of Monday night while also directing state agencies to be on heightened alert.
"I encourage all New Yorkers in affected regions to plan ahead and avoid any unnecessary travel as the storm progresses," Cuomo said in a statement, adding that commuters should expect road closures, delays and cancelations.
The storm also raised the potential for power outages with damaging winds across eastern Long Island and southeastern Connecticut, the National Weather Service said.
Significant disruption to air travel in the region was also anticipated with the storm.
Blowing snow and strong winds could lead to whiteout conditions with visibility as poor as a quarter mile, the service said. Sub-freezing temperatures were forecast in the upper 20s Fahrenheit.
New York City issued a snow alert for Monday night into Tuesday, expecting snowfall rates of up to 2 to 4 inches per hour Tuesday morning and afternoon, with gusts of up to 50 mph.
Mayor Bill de Blasio warned New Yorkers that "besides the snow, it will be cold," while officials recommended that people avoid driving and use mass transit when possible.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey was installing hundreds of pieces of snow equipment at the three New York area airports. Thousands of tons of salt and sand were prepared for airport roads, parking lots, bridges and tunnels.