NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The skies were tranquil – albeit over bitter cold air – as the month of March began Saturday.
But don’t get used to the chilly, but calm sunshine. As if there hadn’t been enough of them already, yet another winter storm is coming – and just in time to make the Monday morning commute a disaster.
A winter storm watch has been issued from Sunday afternoon through Monday afternoon for the five boroughs of New York City, as well as all of Long Island and northeast New Jersey.
CBS 2 Meteorologist Elise Finch forecast a wintry mix blowing in beginning late Sunday, with the heaviest accumulations to the south.
The intensity of the storm depends on two high-pressure systems that are hovering on either side of the Tri-State Area. On Thursday, CBS 2’s Lonnie Quinn explained that if the high-pressure system to the north prevailed, it could pull down cold air and bring snow totals of a foot or more, Quinn reported.
If the system to the south prevailed, the snow and ice would be balanced out by warm air and rain, and snow totals could amount to as little as 2 to 4 inches.
And as to which system appears to be prevailing, Finch said it appears the southerly track will win-out.
As a result, New York City, Long Island, and areas north of the city can expect to see lesser snow accumulations than what was previously predicted.
Estimates for the city, areas north and Long Island have been downgraded to 3 to 6 inches. Mid-Hudson Valley and the Catskills will likely only see 1 to 3 inches.
Northern New Jersey can expect 6 to 8 inches, and southern New Jersey is expected to be hit with the brunt of the storm with 8 to 10 inches predicted to fall, Finch reported.
But the highest totals and where they will fall remain in flux, Finch said.
The moisture will first begin appearing around 4 p.m. Sunday, but without major accumulation as the high climbs to 38 degrees. But on Monday, the area will get clobbered and the morning commute is expected to be a mess.
The city has issued a snow alert for Sunday, beginning at 11 a.m. The Department of Sanitation will be loading salt spreaders and readying plows, tire chains and supplementary personnel.
The department is coordinating with the Office of Emergency Management and the Department of Transportation on plans to clear the snow, and invites residents to monitor the snow-clearing process by going to www.nyc.gov/severeweather or calling 311.
On Saturday, Tri-State are residents were out and about, trying to get one last good day in before the storm, CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez reported.
Shady Morgan was in just shorts and a T-shirt has he played a little game of soccer.
“I’m tired of it, but what are you gonna do? It’s Mother Nature. You can’t control it,” the Astoria resident said.
“I’m trying to beat the snow today and enjoy the nice weather today,” Fort Greene resident Jay Baolesteros told Sanchez.
“Is it arduous sometimes? Yes absolutely, but you know what? It’ll make spring that much sweeter. It is what it is. I just accept it. Make the best of it. Smile through it and move on,” Lower Manhattan resident Karen Targo said.
As the sun set on Saturday, residents were preparing as best they could for the approaching storm.
Jersey City resident Omari Knight has a particular distaste for Mother Nature these days. He’s a U.S. postal worker and said the approaching storm only makes his job harder.
“It’s real hard. Normally have a push cart, but during the snow you have to carry the mail on your shoulder. It’s a lot harder,” Knight said.
Knight was out in search of rock salt for his home, but after numerous stops he came up empty handed.
There has been a regional salt shortage, but Jersey City’s mayor said they have secured 900 tons of salt for the storm.
Victor Linton said he certainly hopes that’s enough to keep the roads safe, he’s a truck driver.
“Every time we have a snow storm it pushes us back. We don’t get the work in. And the boss is complaining like its my fault,” Linton said.
Across the river, New York City will likely make quite a dent in it’s salt supply Monday.
Locals dreading the seemingly never-ending winter and wishing for some signs of spring.
For some winter weather safety tips, click here.
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