TODAY

TODAY   |  January 02, 2014

East Coast cities brace for nor’easter

Officials in New York, New Jersey, and other areas of the East Coast are preparing for a major winter storm, warning residents to avoid travel. NBC’s Tom Llamas reports.

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>> new york , plows are on standby as well t. new player has we will be ready for the storm . tom, good morning.

>> reporter: erica, good morning. we started to see the first snowflakes of this massive storm . just behind me the armada of new york city to keep the streets of new york city clean. we are talking about more than 360 salt spreaders. more than a thousand snowplows. all because of this massive storm . we are are expecting anywhere between six inches to more than a foot of snow throughout parts of the tri-state and people in new jersey, connecticut and new york are taking the storm seriously. so much so that some grocery stores have started to round up items like bread and eggs. now, the big concern for local leaders from the mid-west to the northeast and new england is not so much the snowfall, it was a combination of the fluffy snow. the high wind gusts and, of course the frigid temperatures. governor andrew cuomo here in new york is threatening to close some major highways so people do not get trapped along the long island expressway like you did last february. dan malloy says he does not want people to travel during the peak of this storm because it's going to be too dangerous. it is only 27 degrees in new york city . not too bad. we are talking about the height of the storm , tomorrow it is going to be negative 5 degrees. the big apple frozen to the core.

>> i'm going to take it, tom, that's just the tip of the iceberg , no pun intended. let see you whhow you what we have live. this system affects 108 million people. 24 states are under some sort of winter weather watch, advisory or blizzard warning . in fact, right now, we have blizzard warnings up for long island and for coastal new england , coastal massachusetts. what defines a blizzard? well, for three or more hour, sustained winds , blowing snow , dropping visibility to less than a quarter of a mile. here's what happens, two systems get together. by noon today, these two systems will gyneto one, snow from new york city , philly, boston. by friday midnight strong winds, heavy snow, blizzard conditions from boston to coastal new york . by 6:00 a.m . friday this thing merges into one massive storm off the coast, bringing in blowing and drifting snow . high winds . it's a quick mover. that's the good news. the storm exits. take a look. here's a big problem. generally speaking for a typical snowstorm, you get for every inch of precipitation, you get ten inches of snow. there is so much cold air in this. it's going to wing out a lot more moisture. so for every inch of precipitation, it's 15 inches of snow. so snowfall amounts to illinois all the way to the coast. with retalking three to six inches. look at these snowfall amounts along coastal new england . 12 to 15, up to 24 inches of snow, central new york , same thing. this thing will be a quick mover. it will have a huge impact as far as blizzard-like conditions, school closings in new england. it will probably happen for new york city tomorrow as well, guys.

>> tell him about the twinkie, al.

>> monday, chicago will have a high of 10 below.

>> a high?

>> a high.

>> that's the punch line right there.

>> al, thanks for that great