A potent winter storm has brought heavy snow, icy conditions and strong winds to a wide swath of the northeastern United States, leading to extensive travel disruptions and power outages across the region.
Hundreds of Flights Grounded as Snowstorm Slams Air Travel
The powerful storm has forced airlines to preemptively cancel hundreds of flights in and out of major east coast airports. By Sunday afternoon, over 700 flights within, into or out of the United States had been scrapped and over 1,100 more were delayed as the snowstorm pummeled the region.
The highest concentration of cancellations were at Boston Logan International Airport, where at least half of the flights were grounded on Sunday. The local National Weather Service office in Boston warned that blowing snow could reduce visibility to a quarter mile or less at times across eastern Massachusetts. Officials urged residents to avoid travel if possible.
Airports serving New York City and Philadelphia also saw mounting cancellations and delays build through the day Sunday. By evening, over 600 flights had been scrapped nationwide, according to the flight tracking site FlightAware.
|New York JFK
Cancellation data as of 5PM EST on January 8, 2024 from FlightAware.com
The storm is expected to continue dumping heavy snow across New England through Monday morning, likely leading to an ever growing list of flight cancellations. Travelers should expect delays and disruptions to persist through at least the first half of the week.
Slick Roads Leave Drivers Stranded, Thousands Without Power
In addition to air travel troubles, the winter blast has made driving treacherous across wide stretches of the northeast. The heavy snow and gusty winds have combined to create blinding whiteout conditions on area highways and interstates.
As of Sunday evening, Massachusetts State Police had responded to dozens of spin outs and accidents caused by icy roadways. Plow truck operators were pulled off the roads in some areas until conditions improved. Many local police departments issued emergency calls asking residents to stay off the roads.
The weight of heavy, wet snow and ice accumulations on power lines has also led to scattered power outages. As of Sunday night, roughly 50,000 customers were without electricity across Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. Additional power failures are likely as the storm continues overnight.
Storm Heads for Atlantic Canada Next
This powerful winter storm got its start as a sprawling area of low pressure that formed over the southern Rockies on Friday. It then rapidly intensified as it moved over the Tennessee and Ohio Valleys this weekend. This storm is forecast to reach the Canadian Maritimes by Monday, where it will bring a mix of snow, ice and rain.
Blizzard and winter storm warnings have been issued across a broad area from Missouri to Maine. Some locations may receive well over a foot of total snow accumulation by the time the system moves offshore early this week. Strong winds gusting over 40 mph will also lead to blowing and drifting snow that reduces visibility.
Behind the storm, an area of high pressure and very cold air will build into the eastern U.S. This shot of Arctic air could allow any slushy, wet snow to freeze solid, creating icy conditions that persist through much of the week. Low temperatures may fall below zero across parts of the upper Midwest under mostly clear skies by midweek.
Outlook: Cold But Drier Through Friday
Once the coastal storm finally pushes into the Canadian Atlantic provinces Monday night, dry and very cold conditions are forecast across most of the eastern two-thirds of the U.S.
High temperatures on Tuesday will struggle to get above the single digits in many areas, even with ample sunshine. Lows Tuesday night into Wednesday could drop below -10°F across parts of New England and the interior Northeast.
Another storm system could bring some light snow to the Tennessee and Ohio Valleys around Thursday, but no major winter storms are expected across the eastern states through next weekend.
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