Latest Winter Storm Plasters Big Swath Of USA
The winter that just won’t end is at it again.A winter storm over the southern Plains and lower Mississippi Valley is expected to move northeastward to the mid-Atlantic by Sunday evening, eventually dumping 6-12 inches of snow across a swath that includes Washington, D.C., according to the National Weather Service.
The federal government says its offices in the Washington area will be closed Monday due to the storm. The closure will keep tens of thousands of commuters off the roads.
“We expect some significant snow and ice accumulations throughout the region,” said Bruce Sullivan, senior forecaster at the Weather Service’s Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Md. “It’s going to cause some serious travel disruptions. It’ll hit at the start of the workweek. In the mid-Atlantic region, that’s going to be an issue.”
The storm could bring power outages to some areas where relatively high ice accumulations are expected, Accuweather meteorologist Dan DePodwin said Sunday. “The areas we are most concerned about would be northeast Arkansas, western Tennessee into southwest Kentucky and far southeastern Missouri,” he said. “That includes Cape Girardeau, Mo., and Memphis, Tenn. Some places could pick up one-half inch of ice, which could cause power outages.
“And obviously, driving is not advised in all of those areas,” he said. “We also expect numerous flight delays.”
An area including Philadelphia, southern New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Northern Virginia, West Virginia, eastern Ohio and northeastern Kentucky will bear the brunt of the snow. Freezing rain and snow are expected in southern Indiana, southern Illinois, Kentucky and Missouri.
The latest round of weather misery was expected to start as rain late Sunday afternoon and evening and change to freezing rain overnight. “That will transition over to snow sometime after midnight in the mid-Atlantic region,” Sullivan said.
Because of unusually cold temperatures, a quick melt is not expected. “We don’t expect any melting during the day because temperatures will plummet during the day Monday,” Sullivan said.
New York could see 2-4 inches of snow and none is expected for New England.
Freezing rain is expected in Arkansas, Tennessee and northern Mississippi.
The storm was already hitting the central section of the USA, causing treacherous driving conditions and impacting air travel. A pileup involving more than 100 vehicles Saturday on Interstate 25 in Denver left one person dead and 30 injured.
TODAY IN THE SKY: Airlines pre-emptively cancel 1,100 Monday flights
The Indiana Department of Transportation was monitoring the storm, expecting more than 6 inches of snow in northern Indiana and a combination of rain, ice and snow in the south. INDOT “strongly encouraged” drivers to avoid optional travel so they don’t hamper state highway crews working to keep the roads clear.
As of Sunday afternoon, nearly 1,600 flights in the U.S. were canceled and 1,515 more were delayed, according to flight tracking site FlightAware.com. Most of the affected flights were in Dallas, Chicago and Newark, N.J.
Amtrak was trimming schedules for its Acela Express and Northeast Regional trains. Amtrak said passengers should also expect fewer runs than normal on its Keystone Service, from Harrisburg through Philadelphia to New York City. Amtrak says other trains north of New York City, and those south and east of Washington, D.C., will operate normally.