Nightmare commutes unfold as 1st major snow and ice storm of the season slams eastern US. Follow live storm updates.

Snow, sleet coat roads in northeastern US while winds and seas wallop the coast

By Renee Duff, AccuWeather meteorologist
January 24, 2017, 7:50:22 PM EST

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    A storm will continue to pound northern New England and neighboring Canada and cause significant travel disruptions into Tuesday night.

    The same storm that triggered the outbreak of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms across the South over the weekend is responsible for the rain, ice, snow, strong winds and beach erosion since Monday in the northeastern United States.


    The storm unloaded 1 to 3 inches of sleet on parts of northwestern New Jersey, southeastern New York state and northern Connecticut during Monday night into Tuesday morning. A similar accumulation of sleet occurred in parts of New Hampshire and southern Maine during the middle of the day Tuesday.

    Mass snow 1-24

    Snow-covered roads in Massachusetts on Monday night (Photo/Instagram/d.parsons)

    Rain to ease dryness, trigger localized flooding

    The worst of the storm is over from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia, New York City and Boston.

    These areas will have intermittent rain and drizzle into Tuesday night. Large puddles will remain in poor drainage areas following the general inch of rain that has fallen.

    The threat for flooding will be rather localized, mainly staying confined to streets and poor drainage areas in coastal Maine and parts of Nova Scotia and southeastern New Brunswick.

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    While the rain can lead to disruptions to daily activities, it will help to fill up low streams, lakes and reservoirs. According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor, much of the Northeast is experiencing moderate to extreme long-term drought.

    Icy mix to linger over upper reaches of northeastern US

    A mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain will comprise the majority of the event in northern New England, while snow diminishes over parts of central and western New York state. Travel will be difficult as a result.

    NE ice 1.24 AM

    The weight of the wintry mix will be heavy and difficult to shovel.

    As cold air is pulled southward or manufactured by the storm, precipitation in some areas that starts as rain will change to snow and ice.

    A couple of degrees may determine whether rain, sleet, snow or a wintry combination falls.

    Where ice mixes with snow, accumulations will be cut down significantly. However, travel will remain slick.

    The weight of the icy mix can down tree branches and power lines, threatening to cause sporadic power outages.

    However, where more precipitation falls as sleet instead of freezing rain or wet snow, fewer power outages will occur.

    Howling winds cause pounding surf, beach erosion

    High wind gusts past 40 mph buffeted coastal areas along the eastern New England coast into Tuesday afternoon.

    Gusts in parts of Massachusetts have been as high as 61 mph.

    During Monday night, gusts reaching 55 mph knocked trees into homes on Long Island, New York.

    The high winds created large waves and pushed Atlantic Ocean water toward the coast.

    The crashing waves caused significant beach erosion in parts of the mid-Atlantic and New England.

    Static North Wildwood beach erosion

    Major beach erosion occurred along the New Jersey coast from Monday night to Tuesday. This scene was captured in North Wildwood, New Jersey. (Photo North Wildwood Police Department)

    The seas will remain dangerous for small craft into Wednesday morning.

    Brief surge of warmth to arrive at midweek

    In the wake of the storm, the door will be opened for mild air to make a brief return in the Northeast.

    High temperatures will range from the 50s to lower 60s F across the mid-Atlantic to upper 40s across southern New England. Temperatures at this level are more typical of late March.

    A new wave of cold air will abruptly end the mild spell late this week.

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