Although the calendar is slowly approaching the end of April it’s still possible to see 1.5 million people bracing themselves for heavy snow Monday afternoon as a spring storm swept across the Northeast, bringing with it the potential for power outages, and slushy roads.
The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning to counties in northern Pennsylvania and central New York. It said it would be in effect Monday night through Tuesday noon. Snow could make travel “very difficult,” it said, warning that heavy, wet snow could cause scattered power failures.
Forecasters stated that a mixture of rain and snow was expected in Northeastern Pennsylvania and Central New York City on Monday. The snow will then shift to snow in many areas, before dropping off Tuesday morning.
The Weather Prediction Center said on TwitterMonday’s snowfall totals of more than six inches were possible at elevations higher than 2,000 feet in some areas. This includes the Adirondacks, Catskill, and Pocono mountain ranges. The center said that the highest ranges could see more than 10 inches of snowfall.
“Hazardous to difficult travel conditions are expected to develop due to the slushy, snow-covered roads,” the center said.
Robert Deal, a meteorologist with the Weather Service in Binghamton, N.Y., said on Monday that the snow would be “more like cement and paste rather than the dry, fluffy stuff” and that in some areas it could fall at a rate of one to three inches per hour.
The snow “can quickly overwhelm the ability to treat roads, and it will also start to accumulate rapidly,” Mr. Deal said.
According to the National Weather Service in New York, snowfalls up to 11 inches could be possible in northern counties. New York State was expected to suffer the most severe storm damage. Mr. Deal stated that higher elevation areas are more likely to receive higher snowfall amounts, while urban areas will see less.
“I wouldn’t consider this to be a normal snowfall,” Mr. Deal said, noting its timing nearly a month after the start of spring. “That’s definitely reaching towards the higher end of totals.”
Forecasters stated that the high snowfall levels and the speed at which it falls could cause power outages in some areas.
“We’re looking at things and growing increasingly concerned about the impacts of power outages, with snow occurring this, kind of, late in the season,” Mr. Deal said. “It definitely looks like we could be seeing quite a bit of snow accumulating on trees and power lines, and potentially seeing numerous power outages in the higher elevation areas.”
New York City will be spared snow, but it will rain Monday evening and overnight, with wind gusts as high as 40 miles an hour, according the Weather Service.
The storm was expected to bring heavy rains and snow to northwestern Massachusetts late Monday night into Tuesday.
“It’s not going to be a winter storm for us,” said Alan Dunham, a meteorologist with the Weather Service in Boston.
Lily Chapman is a meteorologist at the Weather Service in Binghamton. She said that snowstorms are not unusual in April. However, she also suggested that people in the Northeast might not be interested in snow in spring.
“After we’ve had such pretty nice weather, I think maybe people are probably not really in the mood at this point for it or ready to deal with it,” Ms. Chapman said. “Just be prepared to maybe have to shovel and for a sloppy commute, possibly.”
Source: NY Times