December 18, 2019
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Urges Caution as Snow Squalls and Freezing Temperatures Move Across New York

Governor Cuomo Urges Caution as Snow Squalls and Freezing Temperatures Move Across New York

Motorists Urged to Travel With Extreme Caution as Snow Squalls Can Cause Whiteout Conditions with Reduced Visibility

State Agencies Stand Prepared to Assist Local Partners with Response Operations

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today urged New Yorkers to prepare for snow squalls causing whiteout conditions and freezing temperatures as a strong arctic cold front is currently moving across the state. The front is currently causing a number of snow squalls throughout the state and will drive temperatures below freezing Wednesday evening into Thursday. State agencies remain on alert and are prepared to assist communities with response operation in the event wind or ice cause damage. New Yorkers should pay close attention to their local weather reports throughout the coming days and motorists should also travel carefully, as snow squalls will impact visibility and cross-winds may make driving difficult, especially for high profile vehicles.

"This snow squall has the potential to cause whiteout conditions and make tonight's commute extremely dangerous," Governor Cuomo said. "I am advising New Yorkers to slow down, use extra caution, and if at all possible stay off the roads. If you do have to drive, be sure to move over when you see a plow or state vehicle clearing the roads."

Snow squalls will remain a possibility throughout Wednesday evening and into Thursday morning. Temperatures will range from the negative single digits to the high teens. Wind chill values will generally be between 0 and -10 degrees, with wind chill values as low as -12 degrees in the Mohawk Valley, and as low as -29 degrees in the North Country Region. Wind gusts throughout the state could reach as high as 40 mph.

The National Weather Service has issued a number of watches, warnings and advisories for snow squalls and winter weather. To view them or to obtain more information, visit the National Weather Service website.

Agency Preparations

Department of Transportation

The State Department of Transportation is responding in multiple regions and has 3,671 supervisors and operators available statewide.

Statewide equipment numbers are as follows:

  • 1599 Large Plow Trucks
  • 183 Medium Duty Plows
  • 52 Tow Plows
  • 328 Large Loaders
  • 39 Snow Blowers
  • 75 Chippers
  • 38 Traffic Signal Trucks
  • 15 Tree Crew Bucket Trucks

Thruway Authority

The Thruway Authority has 688 operators and supervisors ready to deploy 245 Large Snow Plows, 107 Medium Snow Plows, 11 Tow Plows and 60 Loaders across the state with more than 115,000 tons of road salt on hand. Variable Message Signs, Highway Advisory Radio and social media are utilized to alert motorists of winter weather conditions on the Thruway.

Division of State Police

The New York State Police has instructed all Troopers to remain vigilant and closely monitor conditions for any problems. State Police will be ready to deploy additional personnel to affected areas as needed. All four-wheel drive vehicles are in-service and all specialty vehicles, including snowmobiles and utility vehicles, are staged and ready for deployment.

Department of Environmental Conservation

DEC Environmental Conservation Police Officers, Forest Rangers, Emergency Management staff, and regional staff are on alert and monitoring the developing situation and actively patrolling areas and infrastructure likely to be impacted by severe weather. All available assets, including snowmobiles and utility vehicles, are positioned to assist with any emergency response.

Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

New York State Park Police and park personnel are on alert and closely monitoring weather conditions and impacts. Park visitors should check or call their local park office for the latest updates regarding park hours, openings and closings.

The Thruway Authority is also encouraging motorists to download its mobile app which is available for free on iPhone and Android devices. The app provides motorists direct access to real-time traffic and navigation assistance while on the go. Motorists can also sign up for TRANSalert e-mails which provide the latest traffic conditions along the Thruway here.


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Contact the Governor's Press Office

Contact us by phone:

Albany: (518) 474 - 8418
New York City: (212) 681 - 4640