Blizzard threatens U.S. central plains with two feet of snow

A woman walks down the street during a blizzard in Long Beach, New York, U.S. January 4, 2018.

By Peter Szekely

(Reuters) – A late-winter storm this week could dump up to two feet (60 cm) of snow in the U.S. central Plains states, potentially snarling travel and bringing flooding to the Upper Midwest, U.S. forecasters said on Tuesday.

The storm, now brewing as low-pressure center in the southwest, will quickly move into the Rocky Mountains and deliver one to two feet of snow with blizzard conditions in much of Colorado and parts of Wyoming, Nebraska and South Dakota, the National Weather Service predicted.

The biggest air travel hub likely to be affected by the snow is Denver International Airport, but cross-continental air travel lanes could be disrupted as well as the system brings a line of rain squalls eastward, forecasters said.

“The snow will really start picking up by later tonight into the day on Wednesday,” meteorologist Mark Chenard said in a Tuesday phone interview from the NWS Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.

The storm will also bring heavy rain to areas of eastern Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota that already have a good deal of snow on the ground, the NWS said.

“We could have the potential for major river flooding, given the rain and the snow melt,” Chenard said.

An earlier round of heavy, wet snow caused several roofs to collapse in the Upper Midwest last weekend, including those of a church and a hotel.

By Thursday, the storm system will weaken as it moves over the Tennessee River Valley, bringing mostly rain from Michigan southward to the Gulf Coast and some remaining snow only in the far northern parts of the country, he added.

 

(Reporting by Peter Szekely in New York; Editing by Scott Malone and Steve Orlofsky)

Widening snowstorm, freezing rain to snarl travel in eastern U.S.

Pedestrians walk down the sidewalk as snow falls in the Times Square neighborhood of New York, U.S., February 12, 2019. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A widening snowstorm with an encore of freezing rain iced over the U.S. Midwest on Tuesday and headed east, causing hundreds of flight cancellations and closing schools, and was expected to tangle New York and Boston’s evening rush hour.

As much as 1 foot (30 cm) of snow was predicted for inland parts of New England, as well as up to 4 inches (10 cm) in New York City and up to 5 inches (13 cm) in Boston before turning to freezing rain in the late afternoon, said meteorologist Dan Petersen with the National Weather Service in College Park, Maryland.

“The big cities along the coast are going to have a pretty quick changeover from snow to sleet and freezing rain and eventually rain,” Petersen said in a phone interview. “The danger of snow changing to freezing rain is people slip and slide quite a bit and that’s the cause of accidents when people lose control of their cars.”

The storm by early morning had iced over Illinois and Michigan and was moving through Wisconsin into northern Pennsylvania and southwestern New York state. The widening storm was expected to reach as far south as northern Delaware and Maryland, Petersen said.

More than 1,600 flights into and out of the United States were canceled on Tuesday, most of them at airports in Chicago, New York and Boston, according to FlightAware.com.

Ahead of the storm, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy declared a state of emergency, and hundreds of schools were closed for the day.

(Reporting by Barbara Goldberg; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

New York City’s JFK Airport temporarily closed due to snowstorm: FAA

People are seen in silhouette inside the Trans World Airlines Flight Center at John F. Kennedy Airport in the Queens borough of New York, October 18, 2015.

NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York City’s John F. Kennedy Airport was temporarily closed on Thursday due to heavy snow, ice and harsh winds in the area, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The airport, which suspended operations shortly before 11 a.m. local time (1600 GMT), was expected to reopen at 3 p.m. (200 GMT), FAA officials said.

(Reporting by Gina CherelusEditing by Chizu Nomiyama)

Late-season snowstorm weakens in the Northeast

Residents clear their cars and street of snow in Weehawken, New Jersey, as the One World Trade Center and lower Manhattan are seen after a snowstorm in New York, U.S. March 14, 2017. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

(Reuters) – A late-season snowstorm that swept the mid-Atlantic and northeastern United States began to weaken on Wednesday after killing six people, grounding thousands of flights and closing schools.

Still, millions of people on the East Coast faced temperatures 10 to 25 degrees below average, wind gusts of 30 mph (50 kph) and slick roads and sidewalks as they returned to work and classes on Wednesday.

“Residual snow and slush will refreeze early this morning, resulting in hazardous conditions,” the National Weather Service said in an advisory, urging those who ventured out early to use extra caution.

The rare mid-March “nor’easter” was tapering off over upstate New York and northern New England after dumping as much as a foot (30 cm) of snow with gale-force winds throughout the region on Tuesday, the weather service said.

As life returns to normal for many, students in Boston Public Schools will have the day off while the city and surrounding area continue to dig out from heavy snowfall.

Amtrak said its trains would operate on a modified schedule between New York City and Boston and between New York City and Albany on Wednesday.

On Tuesday, snow fell from the lower Great Lakes and central Appalachians to the Eastern Seaboard and as far south as North Carolina.

Some cities, such as Washington, D.C., and New York, got just a few inches of snow, far less than the anticipated amounts that forced public officials to close schools, stop commuter trains and warn people to stay indoors on Tuesday.

Governors in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Virginia declared states of emergency before the storm.

“Mother Nature is an unpredictable lady sometimes,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told a news conference on Tuesday. “She was unpredictable today.” More than 6,000 commercial airline flights across the United States were canceled for the day, said tracking service FlightAware.com. Utility companies said more than 220,000 homes and businesses were without power at the storm’s peak.

Six weather-related fatalities included the death of a 16-year-old girl in a single-car crash in Gilford, New Hampshire, according to the city police department.

A snowplow driver was killed in Longmeadow, Massachusetts, local police said, and four older people died clearing snow in Milwaukee County, Wisconsin, the local medical examiner said.

The storm capped an unusually mild winter, with otherwise below-normal snowfall on much of the Atlantic coast.

(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee and Barbara Goldberg in New York; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

Thousands of civilians, fighters waiting to leave Aleppo

Rebel fighters and civilians wait to be evacuated from a rebel-held sector of eastern Aleppo, Syria December 18, 2016.

AMMAN (Reuters) – Thousands of rebels and fighters were still waiting on Thursday to be evacuated from the last rebel bastion in Aleppo but harsh weather was complicating the final phase of the operation, a rebel spokesman said.

Ahmed Kara Ali, spokesman for the rebel group Ahrar al Sham that is involved in departure negotiations, told Reuters “large numbers” were left but it was difficult to estimate how many remained, beyond it being in the thousands.

The operation to evacuate civilians and fighters from rebel-held eastern Aleppo has already brought out thousands of people since late last week. But obstacles have disrupted the departure of the last group, with rebels and Iranian-backed militias blaming each other for the delays.

Since the resumption of evacuations last night after a suspension, Kara Ali said 20 buses and over 600 civilian vehicles had left the rebel enclave for opposition-held areas in rural western Aleppo and Idlib province.

The last evacuees are believed to be fighters and their families.

Another rebel official said a heavy snow storm that hit northern Syria and the sheer numbers of civilians still remaining were among the factors behind the delay in the mass evacuation.

“The numbers of civilians, their cars alongside and of course the weather all are making the evacuation slow,” Munir al-Sayal, head of the political wing of Ahrar al Sham, said.

Sayal said he expected the evacuation to end before evening if there were no hitches and matters proceeded normally.

“If it proceeds in this routine way, we should be done this evening,” the senior rebel official told Reuters.

(Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Tom Heneghan)

Snow, cold to sweep across U.S. Northeast ahead of arctic blast

Person walking in high snow

(Reuters) – A snowstorm that pummeled the Midwest and grounded hundreds of flights will sweep across the U.S. Northeast on Monday, creating tough travel conditions ahead of the season’s first arctic blast, forecasters said.

The cold front that dumped more than 10 inches (25 cm) of snow on northern Illinois has prompted winter storm warnings and advisories as it also brings sleet and rain to New England and parts of the Middle Atlantic states, the National Weather Service said.

Accuweather, a private forecaster, said three to six inches (7.5 to 15 cm) of snow was expected to snarl travel in northern New York and New England. Local accumulations could be higher.

Conditions were expected to improve late on Monday as the system moves through the region. FlightAware, which tracks air travel, said 190 U.S. flights had been canceled on Monday after 1,800 were grounded on Sunday, mostly at Chicago’s two main airports.

The National Weather Service said another arctic air mass would spread over the northern Great Plains and Midwest in the next couple of days and then head east.

In the Northeast, “the cold weather will be more significant as we get into Thursday,” weather service meteorologist Brian Hurley said.

Accuweather said high temperatures would be in the single digits F (-17 to -12 C) to just below zero F (-18 C) from the Dakotas through Minnesota and Wisconsin as the cold air grips the region.

(Reporting By Ian Simpson in Washington; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Meredith Mazzilli)