Texas to Maine Snow, Ice Storm Hits More Than 100 Million
By By Alex Sosnowski, senior meteorologist.
February 05, 2014, 11:41:24 PM EST
A major winter storm with heavy snow, ice and a wintry mix reached from the central Plains to the Midwest and Northeast spanning through Wednesday.
It hit barely after some people had time to dig out from two prior storms in the Midwest and the Monday storm in the Northeast.
By the time the storm has ended, it will have directly affected more than two dozen states and at least 100 million people with snow and/or ice. Travel delays and disruptions to daily activities are likely. The storm will hit especially swiftly and hard over part of the central Appalachians to New England.
More than 1,700 flights were canceled and another 4,100 flights were delayed as a result of the winter storm.
@AP tweeted: "Cabin fever setting in for millions as bitter cold, heavy snow and paralyzing ice storms keep pounding U.S."
The storm has the potential to drop 6 inches or more of snow on part of New England before it heads out to sea later Wednesday. In part of the Northeast, the bulk of the snow will fall in six hours or less.
The storm hit Texas, Colorado, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, Kentucky and Illinois Tuesday. The storm moved on to Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey and New York Tuesday night.
Accumulating snow also reached the southern portions of Ontario and will hit Nova Scotia and New Brunswick on Wednesday.
A long stretch of the I-70, I-80 and I-81 corridors have been hit by the storm as it rolled northeastward. A multiple-vehicle crash claimed the life of one person on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
The bulk of the storm will hit the Northeast into Wednesday.
Winds may be strong enough to cause blowing and drifting snow near the end of the storm over parts of the Central states and the Northeast through Wednesday.
A zone of wintry mix, snow changing to rain, or a period of ice will occur with the storm south and east of the heavy snow area.
In a narrow zone, as the snow becomes more wet and heavy or changes to ice, there is the potential for downed trees and power outages. Ice occurred in eastern Oklahoma to a large part of Arkansas, along the Ohio River, part of the I-81 corridor on Tuesday and reached the central Appalachians and the I-95 corridor from the northern mid-Atlantic to southern New England early Wednesday.
Areas especially hard hit by ice Wednesday were parts of eastern and central Pennsylvania, northern New Jersey, southeastern New York state, including New York City and Long Island, as well as southern Connecticut. Portions of southeastern Pennsylvania have received a glaze of ice 1 inch thick.
The storm has cut power to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses in the mid-Atlantic alone on Wednesday.
In some cases, the rain will wash away the newly fallen snow, which can lead to urban flooding.
Even at airports not directly affected by heavy wintry precipitation, there is the potential for rounds of flight delays and cancellations with this storm.
Additional major winter storms and associated disruptions to travel and daily activities will follow through at least the middle of the month approximately every two to four days.
The amount of snow on the ground may build to and beyond a couple of feet in some areas of the central Plains, Midwest and Northeast.
One particular storm bears watching in the East Sunday into Monday.
However, at least the next storm in the train will have a bit more separation and may offer more time to prepare, compared to the storms during the first half of this week.
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