By Julie Shapiro – DNAinfo.com
NEW YORK — Get your shovels ready.
The first blizzard of 2015 — which Mayor Bill de Blasio described as “one of the largest snowstorms in the history of this city” — is bearing down on the five boroughs and could dump up to 3 feet of snow on New York by Tuesday evening, the mayor and National Weather Service said.
“Prepare for something worse than we have seen before,” de Blasio said in a press conference Sunday afternoon. “Try with everything you have to avoid being in the middle of this storm.”
Forecasters issued a Blizzard Warning for New York City from Monday afternoon through Tuesday evening, predicting a Nor’easter that will bring up to 3 feet of snow and winds gusting up to 65 mph.
City officials urged commuters to come into work early on Monday and leave early, before the storm intensified around the evening rush hour.
Schools will be open on Monday but after-school activities will be canceled, and schools will “likely” be closed on Tuesday, de Blasio said. Alternate-side parking will be suspended Monday and Tuesday and garbage and recycling pickup will be suspended as well.
De Blasio advised New Yorkers to stay out of city parks beginning Monday afternoon.
The snow is expected to begin falling early Monday morning, as winds pick up to a steady 16 to 21 mph and wind chill values hover in the teens, the National Weather Service said. Forecasters expect 2 to 4 inches to accumulate during the day.
The storm will intensify by Monday evening, with snow falling at 2 to 4 inches per hour overnight and winds blowing at 30 to 40 mph and gusting to 65 mph, forecasters said.
The combination of wind and snow will reduce visibility and make roads slippery and dangerous, said Dave Bowers, a meteorologist with AccuWeather.com.
“Tomorrow night and into Tuesday morning, the intensity will be so great and the winds will be so strong, that’s when road crews will have a hard time keeping up with it,” Bowers told DNAinfo New York Sunday afternoon.