9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 27: The travel ban in Ulster County (and in most other New York counties) has been lifted, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office:
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo this morning announced that the travel ban in the Hudson Valley (Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Ulster, Westchester counties), Nassau County, and New York City is lifted effective at 7:30 a.m. I-84 as well as the Thruway have been reopened. Drivers should use extreme caution and prepare properly as driving conditions remain poor and other states still may have travel bans in effect.
7:30 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 27: Snow much for that. Overnight, the storm tracked farther east than forecasters expected, and now the National Weather Service, Hudson Valley Weather and other forecasters have lowered their snowfall predictions for the Catskills and New York City. It'll be just another normal winter storm from here on out, with up to 6 inches possible in most parts of the Catskills.
From the National Weather Service in Albany:
This storm was east far enough by 50-100 miles to drastically alter the snowfall accumulations in the Albany forecast area. Some snow is still expected...but much lesser amounts at this time.
The team at Hudson Valley Weather has been up all night for this nailbiter:
While we are still under advisories and warnings for up to 6-12 inches of snow by the NWS, we fill that if the moisture does actually push west this morning into the afternoon, it will only produce light to possibly moderate snowfall totals. A general 2-6 inch snow fall with maybe a few higher spots seems much more logical at this point. No reason to believe this storm will discontinue its efforts to underperform the forecast.
HVW adds that it's been getting flack from irate readers:
As a side note, attacks against HVW and forecasters alike will not bring the snow back, it would be much more productive for you to tackle your degree in meteorology. We realize that this was a major blow to the science and to forecasting in general and it will likely open the floodgates of criticism against what forecasters do. Kinda reminds me of the movie "The Weatherman" when Nicholas Cage is walking down the street and he gets hit with a milkshake, with that said, I prefer a chocolate frosty from Wendy's.
8:20 p.m. Monday, Jan. 26: There's some confusion about whether Gov. Cuomo's travel ban includes Sullivan County. The governor named Sullivan County as one of the counties with a travel ban in both press conferences he gave on Jan. 26, but his office's official list of 13 counties with travel bans does not include Sullivan County:
For all local and state roads, a travel ban will go into effect at 11 p.m until further notice in the following 13 counties: Bronx, Dutchess, Kings, Nassau, New York, Orange, Putnam, Queens, Richmond, Rockland, Suffolk, Ulster, and Westchester.
Sullivan County Manager Joshua Potosek issued a statement at 7:15 p.m. saying that there is no travel ban in effect in Sullivan County:
County Manger Joshua Potosek has announced that there are no current travel restrictions for Sullivan County ... County Manager Potosek urges all County residents during the storm to remain indoors and off roadways whenever possible. If residents must drive, they are advised to exercise extreme caution when driving through this storm.
It looks like the only Catskills county included in the travel ban is Ulster, where drivers have been ordered to stay off the roads after 11 p.m tonight.
5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 26: A travel ban on all roads will be in effect in Ulster and Sullivan counties, as well in more southern New York counties, beginning at 11 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 26.
"It is a total travel restriction ban," said Gov. Andrew Cuomo at a 4:45 p.m. press conference. "If you are in your car, and you are on any road after 11 p.m., you will technically be committing a crime."
"State roads, local roads, city roads, town roads except for emergency personnel," Cuomo said. "If you violate this state order it’s a possible misdemeanor, with fines up to $300."
12 p.m. Monday, Jan. 26: Ulster and Sullivan county are under a state of emergency due to the looming snowstorm that is forecasted to bring up to 18 inches of snow to the eastern Catskills tonight, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced at a press conference at noon on Monday, Jan. 26.
There will be a tractor-trailer ban on the New York Thruway beginning at 4 p.m., and Cuomo's administration is considering issuing a total travel ban on all traffic on all main roads tonight.
"I'm declaring a state of emergency effective immediately from Sullivan and Ulster counties south," Cuomo said.
The governor also said that there will be a tractor trailer ban on the New York Thruway beginning at 4 p.m.
"We are considering at this time a travel ban on all main roads starting at 11 p.m. tonight," Cuomo said.
That decision on the travel ban will be made after 4 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 26, Cuomo said.
"The closing of the roads is a safety precaution," he said. "It's never an easy decision."
"This is not a storm to take lightly," he said.
More updates below: