A blizzard watch has been issued for New York City ahead of this weekend's expected snowstorm.
The National Weather Service said that the blizzard watch will be in effect from Saturday morning through Sunday afternoon. This means that New Yorkers are expected to face reduced visibility of less than one-quarter mile, as well as hazardous travel conditions, the NWS said.
"We're pretty sure there's going to be a significant snow and wind event," NWS meteorologist Carlie Buccola said.
The current forecast predicts as much as 1 foot of snow. The city could also see wind gusts in excess of 35 mph for up to three hours.
Buccola also said there could be some "mixing," a brief time where rain or sleet combine with snow.
Meteorologist Jeffrey Tongue said that the storm is expected to start Saturday morning before sunrise and taper off by sunrise on Sunday. The storm will be strongest Saturday afternoon and evening, he said.
At a press briefing Thursday morning, Mayor Bill de Blasio told New Yorkers to expect the white stuff.
"The bottom line is New Yorkers should plan for a big storm this weekend," he said, adding that he did not expect the subway to be shut down.
"I don't think we're in that situation now," he said.
He also urged everyone to stay off the roads, but did not issue a travel ban.
"We need to know more before a travel ban," he said.
Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia said sanitation workers were loading 579 salt spreaders and attaching 1,650 plows to "heavy duty" trucks in anticipation of the storm, and they will be pre-deployed to "assure a quick response."
Sanitation workers will be working two 12-hour shifts starting Friday at 7 a.m. with 2,400 workers per shift. Approximately 400 Department of Transportation workers will also be deployed, according to a press release from the mayor's office.