Hello, 2014! How to deal with the first snowstorm of the year

The New Year is kicking off with lousy weather—here’s how to stay safe, warm and entertained during Winter Storm Hercules

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Winter in Central Park

Winter in Central Park Photograph: Vivienne Gucwa

Update: The New York City Parks department has declared Saturday, January 4 a snow day! Hours are 11am–3pm; check out this post for more details.


Well, folks, it's official: A blizzard has rolled into town, and our newly sworn-in mayor, Bill de Blasio, is getting his first test, as administered by Old Man Winter. De Blasio asked New Yorkers to stay in; whether you plan to follow his advice or not, here's what else you need to know to get through the snowstorm.


NYC got six to ten inches of snow as part of Winter Storm Hercules, meaning that the city is now covered with a big white blanket. But that's not all: There are high winds, tons of ice, frigid temperatures, flight delays and commuter headaches. Governors Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie have issued statewide emergencies in New York and New Jersey, respectively. Oh, joy!


In addition, the city has released a Hazardous Travel Advisory; you can read it here. Note that many subway lines are only running local service; consult the MTA for up-to-date statuses. Check PlowNYC to see if your street will be plowed, the CBS traffic map for road conditions and FlightAware for air-travel delays.


Once the worst of the weather has hit, be sure to consult our storm survival guide, which features the best things to do on a snowy NYC day, from sledding and skiing to hunkering down at a cozy bar and beating the cold with a virtual summer day.


Oh, and wondering about school closures? So are Dante de Blasio and his buddies. The New York Times points to an alleged screen shot of messages between the new mayor's son and one of his friends, who is very, very insistent on landing a snow day. Check it out below.


Image via The New York Times


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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)

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