Snowstorm Expected to Bring Heavy Snow and Snarl Travel
Winter storm warnings were in place for a large part of the Eastern United States on Sunday, from northwestern North Carolina to New York, with as much as two feet of snow and dangerous travel conditions expected in some places into Tuesday, forecasters said.
The heaviest snow will probably fall in northeastern Pennsylvania and northwestern New Jersey, according to Bob Oravec, a lead forecaster with the National Weather Service who is based in Baltimore.
“It’s pushing eastward and it’s starting to snow into the Mid-Atlantic up into the Northeast,” Mr. Oravec said. “And we do anticipate a pretty broad area of potentially heavy snows.”
Snow is accumulating
The storm brought more than six feet of snow and heavy rain to California last week before moving through the Midwest, leaving about eight inches of snow in Chicago, the National Weather Service said.
Snow is expected in major metropolitan areas, from Washington, D.C., to Philadelphia, New York City and Boston, as well inland across northeastern Pennsylvania, upstate New York and most of New England, Mr. Oravec said.
“Anytime you have a storm that moves across those areas,” he said, “you typically have your usual high impacts — especially with travel, both car and airline.”
Heavy snow was expected to develop from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts on Sunday evening into Monday, with 18 to 24 inches of snow possible in some areas, before continuing through Maine on Tuesday.
It began to snow in Philadelphia early Sunday afternoon, and snow was expected to begin falling in New York City on Sunday evening, the National Weather Service said.
A warning issued for the Washington metropolitan area and Baltimore predicted up to nine inches of snow in some places. The expected snowfall would break a 709-day streak during which no more than an inch of snow was recorded at Ronald Reagan National Airport, Mr. Oravec said.
In Pennsylvania, forecasters said travel might be impossible and predicted 11 to 15 inches of snow in places. Some areas in central, northern and northwestern New Jersey and southeastern Pennsylvania might receive up to 18 inches of snow, with winds of up to 35 miles per hour.
Planes, trains and buses are delayed
Travel along and west of the Interstate 95 corridor from Pennsylvania to Maine will quite likely be affected, the National Weather Service said.
At least 128 flights were canceled at Chicago O’Hare International Airport, according to the Chicago Department of Aviation, and the Federal Aviation Administration reported delays at the airport that averaged more than three hours. Philadelphia International Airport was also experiencing delays because of snow and ice, according to the F.A.A.
Gov. Philip D. Murphy of New Jersey declared a state of emergency beginning at 7 p.m. Sunday and said most of New Jersey Transit’s bus and rail operations would be temporarily suspended on Monday because of the storm.
Mr. Murphy also warned residents that there was a “high potential” for power failures because of the heavy snow and high winds.
Long Island Railroad service on Monday will operate on a weekend schedule; MetroNorth service will end early. At the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan, which describes itself as the “busiest bus terminal in the world,” all bus service in and out will be suspended on Monday.
“If you don’t have to travel, plan not to travel tomorrow,” Mr. Cuomo said.
Beginning at 5 a.m. on Monday, tandems and empty trailers will be banned on parts of Interstates 87 and 84. Restrictions were also in effect for areas of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, including reduced speeds of 45 m.p.h.
Vaccines will be rescheduled
In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio said in-person schools would be closed on Monday because of the snowstorm. He also announced that coronavirus vaccination appointments that day would be rescheduled.
“This is not a storm to underestimate,” Mr. de Blasio said on Sunday. “Take it seriously. This is a dangerous storm.”
State officials said that vaccination appointments scheduled for Monday at the following state-run sites would be rescheduled for next week: the Javits Convention Center, Westchester County Center, Jones Beach, Aqueduct Racetrack and the State University of New York at Stony Brook on Long Island.
Some businesses were reaping benefits
The Hardware Store in Sparta, N.J., has been “inundated” with customers preparing for the storm, said Bob Barnes, one of the store’s owners. The store has nearly sold out of ice melt, Mr. Barnes said, and it sold about a half-dozen snowblowers on Saturday and several more on Sunday, in addition to shovels.
“Parking lot’s been jammed, triple parked,” he said. “Typically when we get a big storm, people panic. People wait until the last minute. Particularly in today’s economy, they don’t want to spend a lot of money until it happens.”
Ted Kalinowski, president of NEPA Snow Plowing, which offers snow removal services mostly for commercial properties in five counties in northeastern Pennsylvania, said his phone had been ringing nearly nonstop with last-minute requests.
“With a storm of this magnitude, we could probably be out there for a week straight, especially since it’s going to snow for three days,” he said.
Mihir Zaveri and Azi Paybarah contributed reporting.