Live: Blizzard forces NYC to shut down

A blizzard with the potential to set all-time snowfall records bore down on the East Coast into the early hours of Tuesday, although the extreme forecasts appeared to have been scaled back somewhat.

The meteorologist in charge of the National Weather Service office for South Jersey, New Jersey and Philadelphia, Gary Szatkowski, issued a public apology on Twitter early Tuesday, saying the storm was a "big forecast miss" for most of the region.

Szatkowski tweeted a map showing reduced forecasts for snowfall amounts, followed by a handful of apologetic posts. "You made a lot of tough decisions expecting us to get it right, and we didn't. Once again, I'm sorry," he tweeted.

People from New York City to Boston have been prepared for the possibility of 30 inches or more of snow, while meteorologists used words like "historic" and "crippling" to describe what lay ahead.

Governments in the Northeast planned snow removal efforts and adjusted public transportation schedules in preparation for the storm. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced in a press conference that driving would be banned in 13 New York counties. All public transportation, including subways, will be closed at that time too, he said.

"This is a serious situation, if you violate this state order it's a possible misdemeanor, it's fines up to $300," the governor said.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio also announced a travel ban on NYC streets for non-emergency vehicles starting at 11 p.m. ET. The city plans to use 7,000 National Guard troops, 760 plows and 50,000 pounds of salt in cleanup efforts, Cuomo said.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie announced via Twitter on Monday night that New Jersey would also be instituting a travel ban—for the whole state—beginning at 11 p.m. ET.

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