Public schools closed as Queens braces itself for the first major snowstorm of the season

File photo/QNS

If you were outside today, you probably enjoyed the nice springlike weather and unseasonably warm temperatures. But we’re about to be reminded that winter’s still here, and can pack a punch.

The forecasts are so dire that Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday night that all city public schools would be closed Thursday, Feb. 9. Many private schools and colleges followed suit.

Queens and the rest of the New York City metropolitan area finds itself under a winter storm warning. That might seem hard to believe because it was 61 degrees in Flushing as of 3:35 p.m. Wednesday, but temperatures are about to take a nose dive as an arctic cold front approaches.

That cold front will combine with a nor’easter expected to form off the coast to deliver anywhere between 8 and 12 inches after midnight tonight, according to the National Weather Service.

The heaviest snow will take place between early Thursday morning and into the afternoon, with snowfall rates of between 1 and 2 inches per hour. Winds will also be gusting up to 35 mph, making for poor visibility amid the blowing snow.

The city’s Sanitation Department is preparing its fleet of trucks, plows and salt spreaders for the impending storm. De Blasio urged commuters to stay off the roads Thursday and use public transit if they need to get to work.

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