Cell phones across the city lit up Wednesday afternoon with National Weather Service alerts of snow squalls moving through the Tri-State area.
Snow squalls are brief but powerful blasts of powder, often swept by “strong gusty winds,” according to the NWS.
Though snow squalls generally last less than three hours, they can wreak havoc by hampering visibility, slicking roads and creating the “potential for chain-reaction accidents,” the agency said.
“Sudden whiteouts, icy roads,” read the warning, pushed to New Yorkers’ smart phones around 3:30 p.m. “Slow down!”
Snow squall warnings typically last 30 minutes to an hour and are localized to small areas — not unlike tornado or severe thunderstorm warnings.
The NWS recommends considering an alternate route or, if possible, staying off the street entirely for the duration of the warning.
If you must hit the road, drive slowly and use low beam headlights to stay safe.