Severe storms could bring up to 2 inches of rain in the New York City area Thursday through Friday, but temperatures are expected to drop well below freezing in the next few hours Friday morning. The city’s health department will begin what it describes as an aggressive campaign to add salt to the city’s roads, issuing a winter operating advisory that will take effect at 8 a.m. Friday.
The agency’s fleet of more than 700 salt spreaders will cover five administrative districts as temperatures cool, ensuring that streets and bike lanes remain sufficiently open and safe.
“People can get where they need to go, but we want New Yorkers to know that every street is on one of our routes and every route is assigned,” said the Sanitation Commissioner. Jessica Tisch said in an interview with Goshamist on Thursday. “That said, we want everyone to be able to stay home or use public transportation.”
Snow is possible, but not likely to accumulate much on the roads. Cultivation is unlikely, according to the department. However, especially in the case of rapid freezing, a thin, almost invisible layer of ice on the roads known as black ice can occur.
“Black ice can result in dangerous driving conditions, and with fewer cars on the road, it will be easier for the crew to do their job,” Tisch said.
Other agencies are also taking steps. The Department of Transportation will suspend the open restaurant program for al fresco dining from 8:00 pm Thursday through the same time Friday night.
Although the roads will not be covered with snow, Tisch said residents can expect a “white Christmas” this year.