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Blizzard Bust: New York City Cancels Warning

When previewing the “crippling blizzard’ which was supposed to leave as many as 50 million northeastern Americans under as much as 18 inches of snow, we mused that “some more cynical observers recall the last time New York was paralyzed ahead of what was expected to be a major storm, the impact ended up being relatively minor.”

Call it deja vu all over again, because early this morning, the National Weather Service has cancelled its blizzard warning for New York City as the bulk of the storm has shifted West. Nonetheless, snow and sleet continued to fall across the Tri-State area although in less dramatic amounts.

“The storm actually has shifted, it shifted west,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo told “CBS This Morning.” “There’s less snowfall in New York City, there’s less snowfall on Long Island. There’s actually more in the Hudson Valley and the western part of the state.”

The heaviest snowfall is still expected Tuesday morning through the afternoon, with snowfall rates as high as 2 to 4 inches per hour. The snow will change to sleet, then rain by midday. It will change back to all snow before ending in the evening. On Twitter earlier Tuesday morning, Cuomo said, “There is no reason to be on the roads. It’s dangerous.”

A winter weather advisory remains in effect for the city, Hudson and northern Nassau counties until 8 p.m. Tuesday. The storm was expected to dump a foot or more of snow on the New York City area with wind gusts of up to 55 mph.

In the city, the above-ground portions of the subway system were shut down starting at 4 a.m. Tuesday. There are currently no plans to cut underground subway service. MTA buses will be operating on a reduced schedule Tuesday. Cuomo also announced Tuesday that officials are going to close down Metro-North. The railroad said the suspension would begin at noon. It is currently running on a Sunday schedule with no Branch Line service.

The Long Island Rail Road is running on a normal weekday schedule, but the agency says commuters should expect cancellations as conditions worsen. Amtrak also canceled and modified service up and down the Northeast Corridor.

At the airports, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokesman Steve Coleman says 1,124 flights are canceled at LaGuardia Airport are canceled. Coleman says about 200 passengers are stranded at Kennedy airport, where 877 flights are canceled. Newark Liberty International Airport has more than 1,000 flights canceled. Naturally, public schools in the city and elsewhere were all closed.