The Advance Warning System (AWS) disseminates information to people with disabilities and others with access and functional needs through their service providers. Please share the important information below with your clients and other agencies or individuals to empower them to make informed decisions.


Winter Weather Advisory in effect for New York City from noon Wednesday through 6 a.m. Thursday

Wintry mix of light snow, sleet, and rain may affect the area Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning

February 19, 2019 — The New York City Emergency Management Department today issued a travel advisory from Wednesday afternoon through Thursday morning. The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for New York City in effect from noon Wednesday to 6 a.m. Thursday. A Winter Weather Advisory means that periods of snow, sleet or freezing rain may cause travel difficulties on Wednesday.

According to the latest National Weather Service (NWS) forecast, a low-pressure system will bring a wintry mix to the city on Wednesday. Light to moderate snow moves into the area Wednesday afternoon, then transitions to a wintry mix of snow and sleet Wednesday evening. A trace of freezing rain is also possible. The heaviest period of snowfall is expected during the Wednesday evening commute, between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. The wintry mix is forecast to change over to rain late Wednesday night, and will taper off Thursday morning. The precipitation will end by noon Thursday. A total of 1 to 3 inches of snow accumulation is in the forecast, with locally higher amounts of 4 to 5 inches possible. A light glaze of ice is also possible.

New York City Emergency Management advises New Yorkers to use public transportation wherever possible on Wednesday. If you must drive, allow for extra travel time, expect slippery roads and limited visibility, and exercise caution. 

“Although we start out dry Wednesday morning, we are expecting snow and sleet to develop in the afternoon, causing for a messy evening commute. We advise you to use mass transit, give yourself extra travel time, and exercise caution,” said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito

NYC Emergency Management continues to work closely with National Weather Service to monitor the storm, and will activate the City’s situation room beginning Wednesday afternoon. Key agencies and partners will staff the situation room to coordinate any response to potential impacts associated with the forecast.

The New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) has loaded 695 salt spreaders across the five boroughs, and its fleet of plows will begin operations if more than two inches of snow accumulates on roadways.

The City’s Department of Transportation (DOT) will pre-deploy crews to the East River bridges. DOT will pre-salt walkways at the ferry terminal, pedestrian overpasses, muni lots and step streets, and will continue to monitor these locations. DOT will monitor conditions on the citywide Transportation network at the Joint Transportation Management Center with State DOT and NYPD, and coordinate efforts to address any issues. For more information about all agency preparations, visit

Safety Tips

  • Consider using mass transit wherever possible. If you drive, use extra caution. Vehicles take longer to stop on snow and ice than on dry pavement.
  • Small accumulations of ice can be extremely dangerous to motorists and pedestrians. Bridges and overpasses are particularly dangerous because they freeze before other surfaces.
  • Four-wheel drive vehicles may make it easier to drive on snow-covered roads, but they stop less quickly than other vehicles.
  • Use major streets or highways for travel whenever possible.
  • Know your vehicle’s braking system. Vehicles with anti-lock brakes require a different braking technique than vehicles without anti-lock brakes in snowy conditions.
  • If you are driving and begin to skid, ease your foot off the gas and steer in the direction you want the front of the car to go. Straighten the wheel when the car moves in the desired direction. If you have an anti-lock braking system (ABS), apply steady pressure to the brake pedal. Never pump the brakes on an ABS equipped vehicle.
  • Pedestrians should exercise caution and avoid slippery surfaces; some ice may not be visible. Wear sturdy boots that provide traction to reduce slipping. Use handrails when using stairs. Seniors should take extra care outdoors to avoid slips and falls.

New Yorkers are also encouraged to download the Notify NYC mobile application, which is available for free download from iTunes or Google Play. Notify NYC is the City’s free emergency notification system. Through Notify NYC, New Yorkers can also receive phone calls, text messages, and/or email alerts about weather conditions and other emergencies. To learn more about the Notify NYC program or to sign up, visit or call 311. You can also follow @NotifyNYC on Twitter.

The Advance Warning System (AWS) alerts organizations who work with people with disabilities and access and functional needs to various types of hazards and emergencies in New York City that may affect people's independence and daily lives. Participating organizations receive public preparedness and emergency information that they can relay to their clients and other similar agencies. If you work for an organization that serves people with disabilities or access and functional needs you can subscribe for AWS Alerts at the following link:

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February 19, 2019