Latest Forecasts Have New York City Getting Up to a Foot of Snow This Weekend

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US-WEATHER-NYC
Get ready.Photo: TIMOTHY A. CLARY

The city got a taste of snow last weekend, but the winter weather seems to miss us already. 

The East Coast is set to get a lot of snow this weekend, although it’s not quite clear who will get the most of it yet. Right now it looks like D.C. and Baltimore might win the grand prize and get up to two feet of snow between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning.

New York probably won’t get quite that much, but we’ll still get more than we’ve had all season. The city has had a total of about half an inch of snow so far this year. 

If current forecasts stand, we could see a few inches … or a foot of snow this weekend — enough to send people into a panic and turn the shelves at Trader Joe’s into performance art showing what society would look like after the Apocalypse. In other words, keep your hat with you at all times, and tell your winter boots and Netflix account to prepare for you to maybe never leave the apartment.

It is also supposed to be very windy and could get icy in areas where the snow turns to rain or sleet.

If it’s been so long since you’ve dealt with snow that you’ve completely forgotten how to handle it, the mayor’s office just released a PSA, calling on the expertise of those who hang out on ice for a living.

In good news, Mayor Bill de Blasio said that this is “not the sort of storm that would shut down train service.” 

However, Eric Holthaus at Slate warns that the snow might not be what does the tristate area in: We may fall victim to some serious flooding, too, which wouldn’t be too helpful as Hurricane Sandy recovery continues. 

The storm surge from this week’s blizzard will probably peak about 3 to 6 feet above typical high tide levels, according to the latest model runs. Such flooding would probably rival Hurricane Irene’s in New York City, which came within a foot or so of flooding the subway system. Human-caused climate change will contribute about an additional foot to this week’s flooding event, and it may make the difference for whether the subway system floods again or not. (It probably won’t, but it will be close.)

If the temperatures get very cold, a code blue will be in effect, which sends the city off in search for those who have no place to go when it is terrifyingly frigid outside — and reminds people to call 911 or 311 if they see someone who needs help. 

It seems unlikely that schools will close on Monday, since the storm isn’t scheduled to start until Friday afternoon, so it may not be the best idea to try and take inspiration from whoever attempted to trick a local news station in Tennessee with the modern equivalent of a fake doctor’s note.

If you feel like the best way to prepare for the storm is by staring at brightly colored maps forecasting your doom, here ya go.

And regardless of how much snow there is in the city, locals will still be able to ski or snowshoe: Winter Jam is being held at Central Park on Saturday, and there were already plans to make snow for a ski hill before the impending snow was forecast. 

This post has been updated.