Powerful late-winter nor'easter blankets Northeast in over 3 feet of snow
At least one person was injured after a winter storm transformed the Northeast into a winter wonderland despite the start of spring being less than a week away.
AccuWeather spoke live with CNN correspondent Chris Nguyen on the evening of March 14, checking in on conditions after a nor’easter dumped snow across Massachusetts.
A nor'easter dumped over three feet of heavy, wet snow across the Northeast from Monday into Wednesday, snarling travel, knocking the power out to hundreds of thousands and leaving at least one person injured.
In Derry, New Hampshire, which is about 30 minutes southeast of Concord, a young girl became trapped under a large tree after it came crashing down during the storm on Tuesday afternoon. According to a press release from the Derry Fire Department, a total of 16 emergency officials responded to the accident, using chainsaws, shovels and their bare hands to free the child and stabilize the tree.
"The child was reported to be playing outside near a parent who was clearing snow and witnessed the incident," fire officials said.
After 19 minutes, the child was freed from underneath the tree and transported to a nearby hospital. According to the press release, the young girl received only minor injuries and was found to be in "good spirits."
The press release did not officially say what caused the tree to fall, but the heavy snow and gusty winds the area was experiencing on Tuesday likely played a role. Derry received 12 inches of snow from Tuesday's nor'easter, according to the National Weather Service (NWS) snowfall reports.
Late Tuesday evening, two hikers became stranded after losing track of a trail in Mount Washington State Forest in the southwest corner of Massachusetts. According to a press release from the Massachusetts State Police, a 911 call came in just before 8 p.m. local time. The two male hikers — aged 47 and 53 — reportedly could not retrace their steps out of the park due to bad weather and gathering darkness.
A six-person search and rescue team was put together, but before they could conduct the search for the hikers via snowmobiles, first responders had to clear roads to the state forest that were blocked by downed trees and power lines. Hours later, at approximately 2:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, the team located the hikers.
“The two men were suffering from fatigue and cold temperatures, but were not injured,” the press release stated.
Just before 5 a.m. local time, the two hikers and a six-person rescue team made it out of the forest. The hikers were transported to a local hospital for evaluation, officials said.
Snowfall totals reached the 3-foot mark in several locations across the Northeast. New York, Vermont and Massachusetts were the three Northeast states to have a location where 36 inches of snow were measured.
In Readsboro, Vermont, a town about 60 miles northeast of Albany, New York, snowfall totals were over 42 inches. For both Moriah, New York, and Colrain, Massachusetts, snow measured up to 3 feet. Norfolk, Connecticut, measured 19.7 inches of snow from the storm. Norfolk is located in the northwestern portion of Connecticut.
The top snowfall reports by state as of Wednesday evening.
Although the snow didn’t fall in any record-breaking amounts, it wreaked havoc on travel across the region. FlightAware states more than 2,000 flights were canceled, and more than 1,000 were delayed. Airports such as Boston Logan International, LaGuardia, John F. Kennedy International and Bradley International were among the several that experienced significant disruptions.
At the Syracuse Hancock International Airport, a plane full of passengers went off the taxiway early Tuesday morning, Syracuse.com reported. The incident occurred at 7:30 a.m., local time, when a Delta Airbus went off the tarmac and ended up nose-down in the grass.
Emergency officials did not say what caused the plane to go off the taxiway, but no one was injured. The flight was scheduled to fly to LaGuardia Airport, according to FlightAware.com.
At the time of the incident, it was snowing with less than half a mile of visibility. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the airport remained open after the incident.
The snow created a mess on the roadways, as well. Tractor trailers became stuck on the Piscataqua River Bridge on Interstate 95 between New Hampshire and Maine on Tuesday, which prompted a brief shutdown of all the northbound lanes in that area, The Associated Press reported.
In New York, a full commercial vehicle ban was implemented for the entire length of Interstate 84 and portions of Interstate 87. Additionally, on Tuesday, a speed advisory was put in place on the Garden State Parkway to the New York state line.
In New Hampshire, state police troopers were incredibly active on Tuesday, responding to more than 200 incidents across the state.
Over 70 towns in New Hampshire were forced to postpone scheduled elections on Tuesday due to the nor'easter hitting the state. Many communities rescheduled elections from Tuesday to March 28, including in the southern New Hampshire town of Francestown, where at least 16 inches of snow had fallen by Tuesday morning.
WMUR News reported that absentee ballots were made available on Monday, even for towns that delayed the Election Day vote. In towns that didn't postpone voting, police officers drove voters to the polls, the AP reported. The nor'easter is the third time in the past several years that winter storms impacted town elections.
In Connecticut, New York and Maine, state government offices were closed for the day due to adverse weather conditions.
In addition to the snow, the nor'easter delivered strong wind gusts to the East Coast on Tuesday. In Frenchboro, Maine, which is an island south of Bangor, a wind gust of 71 mph was reported on Tuesday. Farther inland, in Bangor, a wind gust of 51 mph was reported.
A look at the top wind gusts that were reported on March 14, 2023, in the Northeast.
In Atlantic City, New Jersey, a wind gust of 62 mph was recorded. In Calverton, New York, which is a town in western Long Island, winds gusted up to 58 mph.
The combination of heavy snow and strong, gusty winds created extensive power outages across the Northeast on Tuesday. Over 300,000 customers lost power in New York, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine and Massachusetts on Tuesday, according to PowerOutage.US.
In New York alone, more than 84,000 customers lost power on Tuesday. Most of the outages were concentrated in the eastern half of the state.
As of Wednesday morning, power outages steadily declined across New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. However, outages remained high in Maine, where over 55,000 customers were still without electricity during the afternoon, before dropping down to just under 13,000 Wednesday evening. By early Thursday morning, that number was down to around 6,100 customers.
As of Wednesday morning, cold air and blustery conditions made it feel like the heart of winter across the Northeast. AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures were in the 20s across most of the Interstate 95 corridor, including in Washington, D.C., Baltimore, New York City and Boston.
It felt even colder across the region's interior, including in Burlington, Vermont, where it was still snowing lightly with a RealFeel® Temperature of 14 degrees. Binghamton, New York, was one of the coldest spots Wednesday morning after receiving around 5 inches of snow, with an AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperature of 1 degree below zero.
Weather turning tranquil following the nor'easter
AccuWeather forecasters say the powerful winds and clouds will subside as the storm departs, allowing temperatures to rise above freezing.
"In the days following the powerful nor'easter, an expansive area of high pressure will set up shop across much of the Northeast, promoting a period of dry and settled conditions," AccuWeather Meteorologist Brandon Buckingham said.
However, moisture streaming northward ahead of the next approaching cold front will result in the return of unsettled conditions across the Northeast on Friday, according to Buckingham. Many areas across the Northeast could expect rain rather than snow with the upcoming system.
Correction: A plane did not slide off the runway at Syracuse International Airport. Airport officials said a taxiing aircraft exited a taxiway early on Tuesday morning.
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