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Winter Weather Illinois

Joshua Pinckard, originally from Houston, Tx., walks along Lake Michigan as the Chicago area gets it's first measurable snow since December, Monday, March 13, 2017, in Chicago. Much of the Midwest and beyond is getting snow as part of a storm that forecasters say will yield between 3 to 6 inches of snow.(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Charles Rex Arbogast

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday that a state of emergency will be in effect for New York beginning at midnight Tuesday. 

New York officials are preparing for a major winter storm that is expected to affect nearly every region of the state. Snowfall is expected to begin overnight and continue all day Tuesday and into Wednesday. 

In the Finger Lakes region and central and western New York, snowfall totals could reach up to 20 inches over a 36-hour period, Cuomo said on a call with reporters. Higher elevations will likely receive the highest totals. 

For the Albany area and parts of the Capital Region, up to 24 inches of snow is expected from late Monday through Tuesday night. 

Long Island, New York City and the mid-Hudson region will get between 20 to 24 inches of snow and snowfall rates could reach 2 to 4 inches an hour, Cuomo said, citing weather forecasts. These regions will have an additional challenge: high winds. Wind gusts could reach 40 to 50 miles per hour. There may be minor coastal flooding on Long Island. 

"This forecast has been fairly consistent for a period of time and is significant in terms of snowfall, so we're taking it very seriously," Cuomo said. 

All of New York is under a winter storm warning from late Monday until early Wednesday. A blizzard warning is in effect for some parts of the state, mainly New York City and Long Island. 

Cuomo said non-essential state employees in every region of the state except for the North Country will be excused from work Tuesday. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will suspend above-ground service beginning at 4 a.m. Tuesday. 

The Long Island Railroad will be operating on a normal schedule Tuesday, but cancellations are possible. Metro-North will suspend service at noon. Cuomo said Monday that both services will be "significantly impacted" by the storm. 

The state has called up nearly 2,000 National Guard soldiers to aid in the storm response across the state. That's in addition to between 4,000 and 5,000 state employees — mostly state Department of Transportation workers — who will be responding to the storm and helping remove snow from roadways. 

Cuomo said the state is deploying equipment based on the forecast and where it will be needed the most. The state's arsenal includes 2,000 large plow trucks, 200 medium plows, 300 front-end loaders and 61 tow plows. 

The state has 440,000 tons of road salt ready to treat roads. 

The governor's advice for New Yorkers: Tuesday will be a good day to stay home. 

"It's going to be a dangerous, dangerous situation," Cuomo said. "I would only plan on travel if it's especially important tomorrow." 

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