NYC Emergency Management Drops a Snow Squall Alert: Winter’s Sneaky Plot Twist!

January 13, 2024

 The New York City Emergency Management Department has issued a Weather Alert for Sunday, January 14, 2024.

An arctic cold front is expected to sweep through the region early Sunday afternoon, bringing with it the potential for snow squalls.

These squalls could lead to rapid reduction in visibility, gusty winds, and briefly moderate to heavy snow, creating hazardous roadway conditions.

Despite their short duration, often lasting less than 30 minutes, snow squalls can be intense, appearing as “mini-blizzards.” In New York City, there’s a chance for a quick coating to half inch of snow, visibilities around a half-mile or less, and 40 to 45 MPH wind gusts occurring for a short duration sometime between 12:00 p.m. noon and 3:00 p.m. Roadways may be slick if a squall passes through the city, but temperatures are anticipated to be mild enough to prevent icy roads. However, for those venturing further inland, there’s a risk of flash freezes and immediate icy conditions with strong squalls. Weak squalls may only result in few flurries and breezy winds.

Forecast lead time can be short for predicting their precise timing and location, and National Weather Service snow squall warnings may be issued only an hour or so in advance. 

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“While the snow squalls we could see are expected to last a short period, it could be a hazardous period to be on the roads and we want all New Yorkers to be prepared,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “Our teams will be out early salting our streets, and we will continue to monitor the forecast every step of the way. We are also asking that New Yorkers take their own precautions in an abundance of caution. Try to stay off the roads if a snow squall warning is in your neighborhood, but if you have to drive, remember to take it slow. As always, we encourage everyone to download Notify NYC to stay up to date with the latest information in your area.”

“In light of the forecast, I urge all New Yorkers to be prepared for the possibility of snow squalls on Sunday afternoon. Our city has already faced multiple weather challenges last week, and with more expected in the coming days, the unwavering dedication of our city’s emergency crews and first responders, who have been diligently working to respond to and anticipate these events, is nothing short of remarkable,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Zach Iscol. “Their efforts are pivotal in ensuring our city’s preparedness and safety. I also want to extend my heartfelt thanks to all New Yorkers for their ongoing support and cooperation as we navigate these weather challenges together.”

“DSNY is prepared for whatever comes our way tomorrow and into next week,” said NYC Department of Sanitation Commissioner Jessica Tisch. “We want all New Yorkers to exercise caution while traveling tomorrow and give our salt spreaders room to do their important work.”

NYC Emergency Management, working closely with agency partners, is monitoring the evolving weather conditions. The NYC Department of Sanitation’s salt spreaders are prepared to pre-treat high spots and areas prone to icing as necessary. We urge all New Yorkers to prioritize their safety by remaining alert and well-informed. Stay current with real-time updates by subscribing to Notify NYC and listening to news broadcasts for the latest weather information. In light of these conditions, NYCEM strongly recommends avoiding travel during the squalls to ensure your safety.

NYCEM strongly encourages all New Yorkers to take proactive steps to ensure their own safety and support the city’s resilience:

  • Stay informed. Before and during an emergency, the city will send emergency alerts and updates to New Yorkers through various channels, including Notify NYC. Sign up for emergency notifications online or call 311. You can also follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.
  • If the National Weather Service issues a snow squall warning for your area, it’s best to avoid or delay motor travel until the squall has passed. Snow squalls create extremely hazardous road conditions quickly.
  • Always have an emergency kit in your car. It should include items like blankets, a flashlight, water, snacks, a first aid kit, and a snow shovel.
  • There is no safe place on the highway during a snow squall. The sudden white-out conditions and slick roads make driving very dangerous.
  • If you’re already on the road and can’t exit safely, immediately reduce your speed. Quick changes in weather can create treacherous driving conditions unexpectedly.
  • Turn on your vehicle’s headlights and hazard lights to increase your visibility to other drivers during a snow squall.
  • If you require assistance for daily activities, make arrangements in advance for support during the snow squall, ensuring caregivers are aware of and prepared for the weather conditions.

For more safety tips, visit New Yorkers are encouraged to sign up for Notify NYC, the city’s free emergency notification system, to stay informed about the latest weather updates and other emergencies.

Notify NYC is available in 14 languages, including American Sign Language. To learn more about the Notify NYC program or to sign up, New Yorkers can visit the Notify NYC website, call 311, or download the free Notify NYC app for your Android or Apple device. You can now text to 692-692, using the code NOTIFYNYC, NOTIFYNYCESP (Spanish), and NOTIFYFRE (French) to be instantly enrolled to receive the highest priority, verified alerts across all the five boroughs. 

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