Major winter storm produced snow and ice from NYC to Chicago, left more than 100 000 without power

Major winter storm produced snow and ice from NYC to Chicago, left more than 100 000 without power

A powerful winter storm swept across parts United States on February 12 and 13, 2019, producing snow and ice and causing major problems on the roads over almost all of the Midwest and Northeast. At least two people have been killed.

The snow and ice combination caused significant travel delays and widespread power outages across the interior Northeast as snow and ice expanded into New York City and Boston throughout the day, AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Frank Strait said.

Over 2 000 flight cancellations were reported across the Midwest and Northeast.

More than 100 000 people were without power at some point since yesterday. By early February 13, there were still more than 36 000 customers without power in Michigan, Virginia and Illinois. Another 22 600 customers were without power in Washington and 77 000 in California.

West-central Wisconsin received most of the snow, up to 35 cm (14 inches) in Tomah, just east of La Crosse, making it one of the snowiest spots in the entire region.

While the snow will continue to taper off into tonight across the Northeast as the storm system departs, snow and ice in the Northeast will keep travel very treacherous all night tonight and early tomorrow. "Parts of the region from northeastern PA and northern New Jersey to southern New England will see enough sleet and freezing rain to cause tree and power line damage," Strait added.

Mid-level energy moving across the western U.S. will skirt across the Plains and middle Mississippi Valley on Friday, February 15, NWS forecaster Reinhart noted.

Cold Canadian air mixing with moisture from the Gulf of Mexico, giving way to a swath of snow expected from Montana southeastward into northern Missouri.

By the weekend, this wintry mix will stretch into the Tennessee Valley and Mid-Atlantic.

The Great Lakes will get another round of snow beginning Thursday evening as an occluded system approaches the Upper Great Lakes at this time.

By Friday morning, this frontal system will slide into the Lower Great Lakes, shifting the snow to this region, moving into New England later that day.

In terms of temperatures, above average temperatures are expected for the Plains through Thursday, February 14. However, as the strong cold front sweeps across this area, temperatures will plunge 8 - 14 °C (15 - 25 °F) below normal.

Headlines are all about West Coast and Intermountain West/Central Great Basin as multiple systems are expected to move across the region over the next few days, delivering rainfall and higher elevation snowfall.

California will take center stage for both heavy rainfall along the coast and heavy snow across the Sierra Nevada. The first round of precipitation, which is already ongoing, will continue into this evening, with a slight lull in activity expected overnight although precipitation will still occur.

By Thursday, as a frontal system moves inland, more rounds of heavy precipitation will be expected, particularly for southern California and the Sierra Nevada.

In fact, from Thursday and into Friday morning, a high risk of excessive rainfall is possible for the portion of southern California that has been impacted by burn scars, which exacerbates conditions for flooding and mudslides.

Furthermore, the Sierra Nevada has Winter Storm Warnings issued across the entire mountain range as snowfall amounts of 30 - 150 cm (1 to 5 feet) above 1.5 km (5 000 feet) is expected, with 215 cm (7 feet) of snow possible above 2.7 km (9 000 feet). 

Featured image credit: Live Storms Media

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