Ice storm strikes New England; Snowstorm tops a foot across the interior

By Kristina Pydynowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
January 20, 2019, 3:01:45 PM EST

For the latest information on the storm's impacts as it sweeps from the Midwest to the Northeast, please visit this news story.

A major winter storm continues to create travel nightmares and a risk of power outages in the northeastern United States with an ice storm across southern New England and feet of snow to the north.

The storm will not last more than 18-24 hours anywhere, but is hitting hard and fast. The storm will progress quickly from west to east across the region before it moves offshore at the end of the weekend.


A pup in Naperville, Ill., enjoyed the snow on Saturday, Jan. 19.

(Photo/Dan Eidsmoe)

Snow blanketed Chicago on the morning of Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019.

(PhotoDan Eidsmoe)

Heavy snow piled up on Chicago's streets and sidewalks on Jan. 19, 2019.

(Photo/Dan Eidsmoe)

Morning snow created picturesque scenes in Chicago on Jan. 19, 2019.

(Photo/Dan Eidsmoe)

Crews worked to clear sidewalks of snow amid an intense storm on Jan. 19, 2019.


Early morning snow made for difficult travel conditions around Chicago on Jan. 19.


Snow coated roads and sidewalks in downtown Chicago on Saturday, Jan. 19.


At least two semi-trucks and a handful of other vehicles slid off roadways around Danforth, Ill., on Saturday, Jan. 19, local officials reported.


Pedestrians worked their way through packed sidewalks in Milwaukee, Wisc., on Jan. 19.


Roads were unsafe for travel in Milwaukee, Wisc., on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019.


Visibility was severely poor in parts of eastern Illinois on Saturday afternoon amid a massive snowstorm.


While the storm may have caused travel chaos in Chicago, some animals made the most of it.


The Ohio Department of Transportation had thousands of crews on roads across the state as a major storm hit the region on Jan. 19.


A playful pup was barely visible in the heavy snow that blanketed Milwaukee, Wisc., on Jan. 19.


A crash on a snow-covered I-55 closed part of the highway in Sainte Genevieve County in eastern Missouri on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019.


Officials in Dent County, Missouri, said the area experience the "worst of the snow" in that region on Twitter on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019.


Icy roads forced this driver, who was unhurt, off the road in Arkansas on the morning of Saturday, Jan. 19.

Meghan Mussoline

Thick snow fell in State College, Penn., on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019, but Chester the dog was unsure about the conditions.

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

A Pennsylvania Department of Transportation road treatment truck pulls in to attach a plow at a storage facility in Franklin Park, Pa. on Friday, Jan. 18, 2019. Weather forecasters are are predicting a heavy weekend snow storm across Pennsylvania and surrounding states.


A plow truck drove down a snow-covered stretch of Interstate 80 east of Des Moines, Iowa.

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Pedestrians walk in the snow in Detroit, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019.

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

A vehicle spins out on Interstate 94 in Detroit, Saturday, Jan. 19, 2019.

(AP Photo/Hans Pennink)

Crews clear snow at the Albany International Airport in Colonie, N.Y., Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019.

(AP Photo/Lisa Rathke)

Bill Moore cross-country skis down a street on Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019, in Montpelier, Vt.

(AP Photo/Lisa Rathke)

Carter Martin shovels a sidewalk at Maplefields store and gas station on Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019, in Plainfield, Vt.

Before the storm departs, an ice storm threatens to put more residents in the dark across New England and the snow will approach or top two feet across the interior of northern New England.

Thousands lost power in Connecticut.

Sun night Jan 20

While the storm will depart by Monday, some schools that are not closed for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day may be forced to do so due to the prevailing dangerous cold, blowing and drifting snow and icy road conditions.

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Crews may struggle to get all roads free of snow by Tuesday in the hard-hit snow and ice locations. In some areas, conditions may still be unsafe for school buses and students to be outdoors.

Power outages mount as ice storm strikes New England

After starting with snow, the storm transitioned to sleet and freezing rain from far northeastern Pennsylvania to southern and eastern New England.

A total of 0.60 of an inch of ice has already accrued in Meriden, Connecticut, and there is concern for a substantial amount of ice to coat areas from Boston to Portland, Maine, and northward to Fredericton in New Brunswick, Canada.

Ice Jan 20

Sunday started with rain in Boston, but a drop in temperatures has brought sleet and freezing rain to the city.

Prolonged freezing rain can bring down tree branches and power lines, leading to more power outages.

While snow that fell prior to the ice can offer some traction and crews have been treating roads, motorists and pedestrians should use extreme caution for very slippery conditions.

Increasing winds after the storm can put a strain on limbs that are still weighed down with ice and snow. The gusty winds are anticipated to persist into Monday night.

The winds will be ushering in brutal cold, which can put the lives of those who do not have power nor a generator or woodburning fireplace to keep warm.

Swath of heavy snow, blizzard conditions

Where sleet and freezing rain do not mix in, from western, central and northern New York state and western and northern New England, at least a foot of snow is forecast with local amounts to 18, 24 and even 36 inches can pile up.

Similar totals are anticipated in southern Quebec and northern New Brunswick.

Total snow Jan 20 new

An AccuWeather Local StormMax™ of 40 inches is anticipated over the mountains of northern New England.

As winds increase during and after the storm, the dry, powdery nature of the snow over much of the swath will be subject to extensive blowing and drifting by strengthening winds. Blizzard conditions will evolve.

Blowing snow Jan 20

Roads cleared of accumulating snow during the storm may become blocked again due to extensive drifting snow in the storm's wake through Monday.

Winds are forecast to remain strong in the storm's wake into Monday. Gusts between 35 and 50 mph will be common across the Northeast.

Drifts of 4-10 feet can occur in open areas of some roads and may require special equipment to remove.

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Freeze-up, dangerous cold to follow storm

While temperatures trended upward along the coast and in parts of the central Appalachians for a time during the storm, temperatures will rapidly fall through Sunday night.

In some cases, temperatures may plummet 40 degrees Fahrenheit from their highest levels to their lowest levels.

Wet and slushy areas will freeze. Any wet snow and ice will become difficult and perhaps impossible to remove. Ice ruts may form. The conditions will be dangerous for pedestrians and vehicular traffic on some secondary roads and city streets.

"There can be an extended period of dangerously low and subzero AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures in the wake of the storm," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Kristina Pydynowski.

The frigid weather will be painful for fans and participants in the NFL playoff game at Kansas City, Missouri, between the Chiefs and New England Patriots on Sunday.

Download the free AccuWeather app to see how much snow and cold air will be coming to your area.

How can you stay healthy this winter season? Tune in to find out! Join host Regina Miller and her guest Dr. Anthony Ng, Senior Physician Executive at Northern Light Acadia Hospital and Chief of Psychiatry at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center as they discuss Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) as a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons. Also, Staff Education Coordinator for Centre LifeLink EMS, Frank Cianfrani discusses cardiac and respiratory care as it relates to winter activities and provides suggestions on how to stay safe this winter.

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