Coast Guard urges New York area boaters to prepare for Winter Storm Jonas

7e831a63-0171-48c3-9a3f-610276abc992 300NEW YORK – The U.S. Coast Guard is urging mariners and the coastal public to prepare for Winter Storm Jonas, as it is expected to heavily impact the New York area this weekend.

Severe blizzard conditions are forecasted beginning late Friday afternoon through Saturday night and roughly 75 million people could to be affected by the storm.

The forecast calls for 15 to 20 inches of snow across much of the warning area.

“Regardless of the amount of snow that may fall, high winds and low visibility will likely make operating in the harbor very dangerous this weekend,” said Lt. Cmdr. Garrett Meyer, the commanding officer of Coast Guard Station New York. “We will maintain our normal 24/7 response posture for search and rescue situations but inclement weather conditions can slow down our response and put our crews in danger.”

Gale and storm warnings have been issued with potentially damaging winds reaching 40 knots expected the first half of the weekend, with gusts up to 55 knots.  Seas could swell up to 18 feet.

Areas affected include Montauk Point, New York, to Sandy Hook, New Jersey, out 20 nautical miles offshore including Long Island Sound, the Long Island Bays and New York Harbor.

“Please take extra care in securing your vessel as high wind events can result in damage to moored vessels or vessels breaking free and going adrift,” said Meyer. “Also, remember that heavy snow or ice accumulation on your vessel will negatively influence its stability making capsizing much more likely than it would be under normal conditions. That combined with high winds and rough seas makes for a very hazardous scenario.”

A mixture of rain, snow and sleet will result in near zero visibility and boaters are urged to seek safe harbor until the storm has passed.

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