Responding to the sixth major snowstorm of his young administration, Mayor Bill de Blasio on Thursday said the Nor'easter was more than what he and other city officials expected as a mix of snow and rain blanketed the city.
Governor Andrew Cuomo has declared a state of emergency for all five boroughs and surrounding areas in order to the bring in additional snow plowing equipment to combat the storm.
A winter storm warning is in effect citywide until 6 a.m. Friday.
The city's Office of Emergency Management has also issued a hazardous travel advisory through Friday.
Some neighborhoods were blanketed with almost a foot of snow on Thursday. An additional three to six inches is expected to fall overnight into Friday. Snow could fall at two inches per hour with thunder and lightning. Winds could also gust over 40 m.p.h.
This means there could be a messy commute on Friday morning. New Yorkers are being urged to use mass transit and give themselves some extra travel time.
The MTA says subways should be close to normal, however Metro- North and LIRR will have reduced service.
New York City buses will be running, but riders should be prepared for delays as a result of the weather.
For the latest bus and subway updates and for the updated Metro-North schedule, go to mta.info.
Alternate side parking rules are suspended citywide through Saturday, but drivers still have to feed the meters.
Garbage collection also remains suspended.
As to be expected, there are numerous flight cancellations at area airports.
So far, the storm has led to the cancellation of thousands of flights nationwide.
Passengers are urged to check with their individual carriers before heading out to the airport.
For the latest on the city's response to the upcoming storm, residents can sign up for Notify NYC.
The alert system provides the latest on severe weather events and emergencies.
To sign up call 311 or visit www.nyc.gov.
On Thursday, the buildup of snow, sleet, and rain led to tough conditions for drivers as well as cars got stuck and faced slippery conditions out on the roads.
Mayor de Blasio made a controversial decision to keep schools open despite the weather.
Speaking to reporters earlier in the day, the mayor defended the city's decision to send kids to school.
"What is obvious is the National Weather Service gave us a projection. What we got here was certainly the high end of the projection and then some, and faster and earlier than was expected. But within the information we had, we made the right decision. And in fact even with the additional challenges, MTA is running, schools are operating," de Blasio said.
The city Department of Education reported a 44.65 percent attendance rate Thursday; the average being around 92 percent.
In announcing that schools would be open, Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina urged parents to exercise their own judgment. However, her decision also drew a harsh response from the head of the teachers union.
In a statement, United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew said, "I understand the desire to keep schools open. The only thing that trumps that is safety. Having students, parents and staff traveling in these conditions was unwarranted. It was a mistake to open schools today."
Parents and teachers blasted the mayor for not closing schools on Twitter and Facebook.
Elementary schools in the New York Archdiocese were closed Thursday and will be closed Friday. The New York Archdiocese includes schools in Manhattan, the Bronx and on Staten Island.
St. Joseph's Parish Day School will be closed Friday.
Seton Foundation for Learning, all programs closed on Friday