Snow Slows Travel From Philadelphia to NYC on First Evening of Spring
By By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather.com senior meteorologist.
March 21, 2015, 4:07:39 AM EDT
A snowstorm will continue to push through part of the Interstate 95 corridor of the Northeast during the first night of spring.
Astronomical spring officially arrives on Friday, March 20, at 6:45 p.m. EDT, but millions in the Northeast will be slipping, shoveling or facing other problems due to snow.
As of late Friday afternoon, the storm has significantly contributed to the 1,000 flight cancellations and 2,700 delays across the nation according to flightstats.com.
Poor visibility and deicing operations will contribute to airline delays and flight cancellations from Baltimore to Boston, with the greatest impact likely from Philadelphia to New York City into Friday night.
The storm threatens to slow travel and cause disruptions to daily activities in the Northeast, as the first weekend of spring begins.
Among the mounting number of vehicle accidents due to the storm, there have been incidents in Pennsylvania along I-99, I-80 and I-78. Motorists are urged to slow down as road conditions can range from wet to slushy and snowy over a very short distance. The heavy rate of snow will result in poor visibility.
A burst of heavy snow will move eastward along the back edge of the storm and sweep from Philadelphia to New York City, Long Island and the southern coast of New England into Friday night. In this area, roads that were wet from Friday afternoon can quickly turn slushy during Friday evening rush hour.
The greatest amount of snow will accumulate on grassy areas. However, elevated areas and paved and concrete surfaces that receive little or no direct sunshine during the daylight hours will be colder and prone to picking up a few inches of snow.
Where the snow got a jumpstart early in the morning on Friday from part of western Maryland to central Pennsylvania, roads quickly became slushy and snow covered.
The swath of heaviest snowfall, 3-6 inches, will stretch from part of eastern Pennsylvania, northern New Jersey and southeastern New York state, including the New York City area and Long Island.
Cities within this swath include Allentown, Pennsylvania; Paterson, New Jersey; and Hempstead, New York. This includes part of the Pennsylvania Turnpike and I-78.
The storm was diminishing in central Pennsylvania, northern Virginia and Washington, D.C., on Friday afternoon. A change to rain occurred in central Delaware and southern New Jersey, following a slushy accumulation.
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Little to no snow will fall north of a line from Syracuse, New York, to Boston with the storm into Friday night.
Winds will generally be light with the storm over the interior. However, enough of an onshore breeze combined with high astronomical tides associated with the new moon could result in minor incidents of coastal flooding from southeastern Virginia and northeastern North Carolina to southern New England.
The snow is not likely to be heavy enough to weigh down a great number of tree limbs, so that any power outages should be very sporadic.
Untreated wet surfaces can become icy Friday night as the temperature dips.
Additional waves of cold air are forecast to move in through the first part of April and could lead to additional opportunities for late-season snow in the region.
As another storm system slices to the east from the Great Lakes on Saturday, there could be a second chance at snow in New England and northern upstate New York, including areas which are likely going to be missed by the first round of snow from Friday.
Farther south, from southern New York state and southern New England to northern Virginia, the snow that falls on Friday will melt on Saturday.
AccuWeather.com and the AccuWeather Network will continue to provide updates throughout the storm.
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