Live winter storm updates: As snow sweeps northeast, Massachusetts braces for impact
As dawn approached Saturday, a powerful winter storm was beginning to batter eastern Massachusetts after bringing snow and high winds to the New York metro area and parts of New England.
The governors of New York, New Jersey and Virginia issued emergency declarations ahead of the storm’s arrival on Friday evening, and more than 5,000 flights were canceled along the coast, including many at airports in Boston and around New York.
There were no major reports of damage or power outages in the northeast as of 5 a.m. The National Weather Service office on Long Island – where the snowfall totals over 16 inches were expected in Nassau and Suffolk counties – said about an inch had fallen there as of 1 a.m.
Blizzard warnings were in effect for a large swath of the East Coast. And people across the region were preparing for a day of freezing temperatures, heavy snowfall, dangerous travel conditions and the potential for widespread power outages.
Four hours before dawn, the National Weather Service predicted that heavy snowfall rates and strong winds would combine to produce “dangerous blizzard conditions” over coastal New England and mid-Atlantic regions. Saturday. He said travel in these areas would be “almost impossible” in whiteout conditions.
The storm was expected to dissipate on Sunday, but not before dumping more than a foot of snow along northeast coastal areas and two or more feet in parts of eastern Massachusetts.
“That’s where the center of the target is,” Bryce Williams, a meteorologist with the Boston Weather Service office, said by phone just before 2 a.m. as snow piled on his car in a parking lot. near. Three hours later, he said two to four inches had been recorded along coastal areas of Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
Williams said the heaviest snowfall in eastern Massachusetts would move in just after sunrise and persist until about 4 p.m. He said eastern Massachusetts and parts of Rhode Island were likely to have the highest accumulations along the eastern seaboard on Saturday.
Cape Cod and the islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard were likely to see the strongest winds, potentially even hurricane-force gusts, he added. A coastal flood warning was in effect for Massachusetts’ eastern seaboard Saturday morning.
In New York, Governor Kathy Hochul’s emergency declaration for New York, Long Island and Rockland and Westchester counties went into effect Friday night. Five to 10 inches of snow was expected in the city and mid-Hudson region.
As the storm moved through southern New England, the weather service said, parts of Massachusetts and Rhode Island could experience whiteout conditions and as much as two to four inches of snow per hour. Williams said heavy snowfall combined with high winds would increase the risk of power outages, especially for coastal areas in southeastern Massachusetts.
Air travel was in disarray even before the storm hit. Data from FlightAware, a site that tracks flights and the airline industry, showed that many flights canceled on Saturday were scheduled to take off from Boston Logan International Airport and New York’s three main aviation hubs: LaGuardia , John F. Kennedy and Liberty of Newark.
Delta said Friday it would suspend operations at those airports until Sunday morning and restart them Sunday afternoon if conditions allow.
As for road conditions, Mr Williams of the Weather Service said the snow, wind and low visibility would make it very difficult for anyone – including himself – planning to drive.
“If you don’t have to be away, we try to say stay home until Sunday,” he said. “Luckily Sunday looks calm so that will give us time to clean up and hopefully get back to normal by the start of the week.”