A late winter storm blasted the northeastern United States on Saturday with high winds and snow that could pile up to a foot high, dropping temperatures and making travel dangerous after first targeting the Deep South.
The National Weather Service said 7 to 12 inches are expected in the northern areas of Pennsylvania and New York with wind gusts up to 45 miles per hour. While Philadelphia residents expected only a few inches of snow, they were warned that gale-force conditions were a possibility at one point and later flash freezes were a possibility, with wet surfaces quickly becoming icy due to falling temperatures.
Storm warnings were in effect across coastal New Jersey and Delaware, with gusts of 40 to 50 mph possible and forecasters warned of tree damage and resulting power outages and rough boating conditions. A wind warning was issued for other areas.
Meteorologist Andrew Orrison of the College Park, Maryland Weather Service Office said moderate to heavy snow fell over “a fairly large area” in the eastern United States, but the storm was moving northeast quickly.
Parts of the Tennessee Valley and central Appalachian Mountains had already seen 8 to 12 inches of snow, and areas of Pennsylvania, New York and northern New England were expected to receive similar amounts before the storm cleared early Sunday, he said. As of Saturday afternoon, 10 inches of snow or more were reported in parts of New York and northern Pennsylvania, and up to 6 inches of snow in eastern Pennsylvania.
The intensifying low pressure that accompanied the storm had generated strong winds and falling temperatures would freeze any moisture on the roads, making travel dangerous in frigid conditions, he said.
State police said Saturday afternoon that a 73-vehicle crash on a central Pennsylvania freeway resulted in multiple injuries, but no life-threatening injuries were immediately reported. Trooper Megan Ammerman said the crash was reported on PA 581 in Cumberland County just after 2 p.m. Saturday.
The cause of the crash and other details were not immediately available. WCAU-TV reported that temperatures were in the mid-to-mid 20s range, well below freezing, with winds gusting from 30 to 40 miles per hour, resulting in limited visibility.
Slippery roads were also blamed for accidents as the rain turned to snow and began to pile up in parts of Maine, northern New Hampshire and Vermont. The New Hampshire State Police responded to multiple accidents in which cars skidded off snowy roads, prompting warnings to slow down. In Vermont, where up to 14 inches of snow was expected, officials warned potential blizzard conditions and blowing snow could make travel “difficult to impossible.”
PPL reported more than 10,750 customers without power in eastern and central Pennsylvania as of Saturday afternoon, but that had later dropped to 5,000 hours. FirstEnergy reported 10,350 customer outages in Pennsylvania and New York, but that was reduced to 7,650 later in the day.
The system also brought snow and rain to several southern states including Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi on Friday and Saturday. Portions of northern Mississippi and portions of the Mississippi Delta also saw between 2 and 3.5 inches of snow.
Several inches of snow fell in eastern Tennessee, delaying Dollywood’s season opener at Pigeon Forge by at least a day. In Knoxville, the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade was canceled, and several inches of snow in the middle of the state contributed to several freeway accidents.
A number of St. Patrick’s Day parades have been postponed elsewhere, including events in Albany, New York, and Erie and Scranton, Pennsylvania, as well as in suburban Philadelphia. The parade, which was scheduled for Sunday in the city of Philadelphia, should still go on. The holiday falls on Thursday this year.
https://nypost.com/2022/03/13/us-sees-winter-storm-blasts-with-snow-wind-in-south-and-northeast/ US sees winter storms with snow, winds in the South and Northeast