- Associated Press - Sunday, February 1, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) - A week after New Yorkers braced for a storm the mayor warned could dump several feet of snow on the city, he was again guessing Sunday how bad a new winter storm - arriving along with the Super Bowl - would be.

Many grocery stores ran out of shopping carts as New Yorkers loaded up for the double-whammy - football and the weather.

Mayor Bill de Blasio told a news conference at Gracie Mansion, his official residence, that the city would be on an almost 24-hour winter storm watch, starting at 7 p.m. Sunday just after the kickoff in Arizona.

He planned to enjoy a Super Bowl party at the mansion, but warned those also gathering for the game not to drink and drive on slippery roads.

“We’d want people to be very, very cautious,” he said, encouraging people to stay home in the morning if they could. Schools were expected to be open at their normal times, however.

De Blasio said the latest storm was expected to be milder than the one that hit the Northeast early last week. He said he was told the storm would bring 2 to 5 inches of snow turning to ice, with wind gusts of up to 35 mph. The mayor said he wouldn’t be surprised if 4 to 7 inches fell.

“A lot can change between now and the early morning hours,” he cautioned. “We have to be ready for any eventuality.”

National Weather Service meteorologist John Murray said accumulations of 4 to 8 inches are forecast for Monday in the city, and slightly more in the northern suburbs.

Sanitation workers were prepared for 24-hour cleanup work, with 2,400 of them working each 12-hour shift.

The biggest threat is up to a quarter inch of ice on roads Monday coinciding with the morning rush hour, de Blasio said.

City officials said preparations were made for the onslaught, such as getting salt spreaders and snow plows ready.

But there was no plan to repeat some of the precautions that were taken in last week’s storm, such as shutting down the subway system. Those precautions turned out to be unnecessary, with snowfall totals coming in far below what weather forecasts predicted.

Schools chancellor Carmen Farina said classes would proceed Monday barring unforeseen circumstances.

A Ground Hog Day ceremony at the Staten Island Zoo also was still on for Monday.

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