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Vocapedia > Earth > Weather > Cold, Snow, Winter storm, Blizzard




A lone pedestrian makes his way up Seaport Blvd in downtown Boston.



Suzanne Kreiter/The Boston Globe


Boston Globe > Big Picture


Massive snowstorm hits Northeast

The blizzard of 2015 blasted the region

with wind-whipped snow

that piled nearly 3-feet high

in some places.

27 January 2015



















People rest at the aisle of a Publix grocery store

after being stranded due to a snow storm

in Atlanta, Ga, on Jan. 29.


A rare winter storm

gripped the US South on Wednesday,

killing five people,

stranding children overnight at their schools,

gnarling traffic across many states

and canceling flights

at the world's busiest airport.


Photograph: Tami Chappell/Reuters


Boston Globe > Big Picture

Winter storm causes havoc in US South

January 29, 2014



















OUTDOOR SCENES - Evening Fog -

As a storm moved out of the area,

the fog rolled in off the lake.

Toronto on Lake Ontario, Canada



Scott Teichman/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest


Photo and caption

by Graham McGeorge/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest


Boston Globe > Big Picture

National Geographic Traveler Magazine: 2013 Photo Contest

May 10, 2013



















Shane Wilkinson

takes his Siberian Huskies Molly, Zia, Nikita, and Ash out

on a training run in the snow

in Wilton, Wiltshire, southern England January 6, 2010.


Photograph: REUTERS/Steve Wood


Boston Globe > Big Picture > Dogs and sleds

February 8, 2010
















winter        USA
















severe winter        USA











winter        UK






winter weather        UK






winter wallop        USA





winter woes        USA






harshest winter for three decades        UK        2009/2010






warmer winters        USA






in the winter of 2007
















wintry weather        UK










frigid        USA










USA > frigid temperatures        UK / USA












USA > grip        UK










frigid weather        USA


















it's a bit nippy out there








shiver        UK










shiver        USA


















cold        UK














































cold        USA
















severe / bitter cold        USA












bone-chilling cold        USA










extreme cold        USA
















arctic cold        USA







grip        USA






arctic zone        USA






Arctic weather        UK






frigid        USA






fight off the cold        USA






blanket        UK






blanket       USA









blanket        UK






white Christmas        UK






cold snap        UK










cold spell





cold wave





cold weather        UK






it doesn't feel particularly cold





it will turn freezing cold





2.5C (36.5F)        UK






fall to below zero        UK






fall as low as -4C        UK











hypothermia        USA
























it will be much cooler















snow        UK




































































Charles Schulz


November 21, 2021

















snow        USA











































cartoons > Cagle > Snow cold        December 2010






snowboots        UK






'Snowmageddon'        USA





'Snowphistication'        USA





snowdrift        UK






drifiting snow





heavy snow        UK









USA > heavy snow        UK / USA








hit        UK















pile up        USA






snow-readiness        UK






snow plow        USA






snow, sleet and hail





snowflake        UK






snowflake        USA






flakes        UK











as much as a foot of snow





foot of snow





several inches of snow










snowfall        USA






record snowfall        USA






snow fight        USA






heavy snow





snow flurries










it's snowing!





on a sledge        UK
















snow shovel        UK






shovel / shovel out        USA






clear the snow        UK























A flooded street on the coast in Scituate, Mass., on Tuesday.



Michael Dwyer/Associated Press


Snowstorm Saves Its Fury for New England,

Bringing High Winds and Knocking Out Power


JAN. 27, 2015
















Buffalo Snow Storm 2014 on Social Media        NYT        21 November 2014





Buffalo Snow Storm 2014 on Social Media        Video        The New York Times        21 November 2014


Residents in the Buffalo area used social media

to post video of one of the worst storms in recent memory

to hit western New York.


Produced by: Deborah Acosta and Robin Lindsay

Read the story here: http://nyti.ms/1yAuMPB

Watch more videos at: http://nytimes.com/video


















snow storm / snowstorm        UK / USA




























monster snowstorms        USA










winter storm        USA







































winter snow and ice storm        USA










bomb cyclone - a powerful winter storm        USA






















ice storm








move across N








roll across N








barrel across N










blow through N








batter        USA










hammer        USA










slam        USA






















Charles Schulz


December 11, 2011















cause havoc        USA






chaos        UK








travel chaos        UK








travel misery





snarl traffic, knock out power, and disrupt flights        USA






travel disruption        UK








travel turmoil        UK






slip in the snow        UK






bring traffic to a standstill




warn of disruptions to service





vital transport links > grind to a halt        UK






strand        UK






be stranded        UK








be crippled by the cold weather





come to standstill        UK






problems at airports, on trains and roads        UK
















snow-blower / snow blower










salt for gritting the roads        UK






gritter        UK






gritting lorry        UK






Snowplough / snow plough        UK
























avalanche        UK









avalanche        USA

























bitterly cold conditions





bitterly cold winds        UK






piercing high winds        UK






bitterly cold day





Arctic blast





blast        USA





















fog        UK











freezing fog





patchy fog





mist        UK











linger over N        UK






















night frost





ground frost










a frosty start to the day























chill        USA










big chill








chilly        UK


























freezing weather        UK










hit        UK










freeze        UK / USA












big freeze        UK

















USA > deep freeze        UK















deep freeze        USA






















Deep freeze chills US        USA        January 8, 2014


Though temperatures will warm

across the United States

in the next few days,

an artic blast of cold winter air

affected a good portion of the country

over the last week.


Freezing cold

made it all the way to Florida

and is blamed

for more than 20 deaths nationwide.










USA > record low temperatures        UK










freezing        UK










freezing weather        UK

















freezing point








anti freeze








frozen        USA










cartoons > Cagle > Frozen 2013        USA










frozen roads








slick roads        USA






















autumn temperatures        UK






fall fast        USA






fall as low as minus 15C (5F)





drop below zero        UK






plunge        UK






plunge into freezing temperatures





polar vortex / weather whiplash        UK








polar vortex        USA






























ice        UK














ice        USA

















ice storm        USA














icy storm








icy road








"icy conditions exist"










icy        UK










icy        USA










black ice








ice floe















paralyze        USA











wreak havoc        USA











sleet        UK / USA
















gritting lorry
























blizzard warnings        USA












blizzard        USA











































massive blizzard        USA










monster blizzard        USA










drop two feet of snow        USA

















thaw        UK


















Mark Trail        Jack Elrod        Created by Ed Dodd in 1946

19 December 2004

http://www.kingfeatures.com/features/comics/mtrail/about.htm - broken link















Corpus of news articles


Earth > Weather


Cold, Snow, Winter storm, Blizzard




In Fuel Oil Country,

Cold That Cuts to the Heart


February 3, 2012

The New York Times




With the darkening approach of another ice-hard Saturday night in western Maine, the man on the telephone was pleading for help, again. His tank was nearly dry, and he and his disabled wife needed precious heating oil to keep warm. Could Ike help out? Again?

Ike Libby, the co-owner of a small oil company called Hometown Energy, ached for his customer, Robert Hartford. He knew what winter in Maine meant, especially for a retired couple living in a wood-frame house built in the 19th century. But he also knew that the Hartfords already owed him more than $700 for two earlier deliveries.

The oil man said he was very sorry. The customer said he understood. And each was left to grapple with a matter so mundane in Maine, and so vital: the need for heat. For the rest of the weekend, Mr. Libby agonized over his decision, while Mr. Hartford warmed his house with the heat from his electric stove’s four burners.

“You get off the phone thinking, ‘Are these people going to be found frozen?’ ” Mr. Libby said. No wonder, he said, that he is prescribed medication for stress and “happy pills” for equilibrium.

Two days later, Mr. Libby told his two office workers about his decision. Diane Carlton works the front desk while her daughter-in-law, Janis, handles accounts. But they share the job of worrying about Ike, whose heart, they say, is too big for his bantam size and, maybe, this business.

The Hartford case “ate him,” Janice Carlton recalled. “It just ate him.”

Mr. Libby drove off to make deliveries in his oil truck, a rolling receptacle of crumpled coffee cups and cigarette packs. Diane Carlton, the office’s mother hen, went home early. This meant that Janis Carlton was alone when their customer, Mr. Hartford, stepped in from the cold. He had something in his hand: the title to his 16-year-old Lincoln Town Car.

Would Hometown Energy take the title as collateral for some heating oil? Please?

Maine is in the midst of its Republican presidential caucus, the state’s wintry moment in the battle for the country’s future. But at this time of year, almost nothing matters here as much as basic heat.

While federal officials try to wean the country from messy and expensive heating oil, Maine remains addicted. The housing stock is old, most communities are rural, and many residents cannot afford to switch to a cleaner heat source. So the tankers pull into, say, the Portland port, the trucks load up, and the likes of Ike Libby sidle up to house after house to fill oil tanks.

This winter has been especially austere. As part of the drive to cut spending, the Obama administration and Congress have trimmed the energy-assistance program that helps the poor — 65,000 households in Maine alone — to pay their heating bills. Eligibility is harder now, and the average amount given here is $483, down from $804 last year, all at a time when the price of oil has risen more than 40 cents in a year, to $3.71 a gallon.

As a result, Community Concepts, a community-action program serving western Maine, receives dozens of calls a day from people seeking warmth. But Dana Stevens, its director of energy and housing, says that he has distributed so much of the money reserved for emergencies that he fears running out. This means that sometimes the agency’s hot line purposely goes unanswered.

So Mainers try to make do. They warm up in idling cars, then dash inside and dive under the covers. They pour a few gallons of kerosene into their oil tank and hope it lasts. And they count on others. Maybe their pastor. Maybe the delivery man. Maybe, even, a total stranger.

Hometown Energy has five trucks and seven employees, and is run out of an old house next to the Ellis variety store and diner. Oil perfumes the place, thanks to the petroleum-stained truckers and mechanics clomping through. Janis Carlton, 35, tracks accounts in the back, while Diane Carlton, 64, works in the front, where, every now and then, she finds herself comforting walk-ins who fear the cold so much that they cry.

Their boss, Mr. Libby, 53, has rough hands and oil-stained dungarees. He has been delivering oil for most of his adult life — throwing the heavy hose over his shoulder, shoving the silver nozzle into the tank and listening for the whistle that blows when oil replaces air.

Eight years ago, he and another Dixfield local, Gene Ellis, who owns that variety store next door, created Hometown Energy, a company whose logo features a painting of a church-and-hillside scene from just down the road. They thought that with Ike’s oil sense and Gene’s business sense, they’d make money. But Mr. Libby says now that he’d sell the company in a heartbeat.

“You know what my dream is?” Mr. Libby asked. “To be a greeter at Walmart.”

This is because he sells heat — not lumber, or paper, or pastries — and around here, more than a few come too close to not having enough. Sure, some abuse the heating-assistance program, he says, but many others live in dire need, including people he has known all his life.

So Mr. Libby does what he can. Unlike many oil companies, he makes small deliveries and waves off most service fees. He sets up elaborate payment plans, hoping that obligations don’t melt away with the spring thaw. He accepts postdated checks. And he takes his medication.

When the customer named Robert Hartford called on the after-hours line that Saturday afternoon, asking for another delivery, Mr. Libby struggled to do what was right. He cannot bear the thought of people wanting for warmth, but his tendency to cut people a break is one reason Hometown Energy isn’t making much money, as his understanding partner keeps gently pointing out.

“I do have a heart,” Mr. Libby said. But he was already “on the hook” for the two earlier deliveries he had made to the couple’s home. What’s more, he didn’t know even know the Hartfords.

Robert and Wilma Hartford settled into the porous old house, just outside of Dixfield, a few months ago, in what was the latest of many moves in their 37-year marriage. Mr. Hartford was once a stonemason who traveled from the Pacific Northwest to New England, plying his trade.

Those wandering days are gone. Mr. Hartford, 68, has a bad shoulder, Mrs. Hartford, 71, needs a wheelchair, and the two survive on $1,200 a month (“Poverty,” Mrs. Hartford says). So far this year they have received $360 in heating assistance, he said, about a quarter of last year’s allocation.

Mr. Hartford said he used what extra money they had to repair broken pipes, install a cellar door, and seal various cracks with Styrofoam spray that he bought at Walmart. That wasn’t enough to block the cold, of course, and the two oil deliveries carried them only into early January.

There was no oil to burn, so the cold took up residence, beside the dog and the four cats, under the velvet painting of Jesus. The couple had no choice but to run up their electric bill. They turned on the Whirlpool stove’s burners and circulated the heat with a small fan. They ran the dryer’s hose back into the basement to keep pipes from freezing, even when there were no clothes to dry.

And, just about every day, Mr. Hartford drove to a gas station and filled up a five-gallon plastic container with $20 of kerosene. “It was the only way we had,” he said. Finally, seeing no other option, Mr. Hartford made the hard telephone call to Hometown Energy. Panic lurked behind his every word, and every word wounded the oil man on the other end.

“I had a hard time saying no,” Mr. Libby said. “But I had to say no.”

When Mr. Hartford heard that no, he also heard regret. “You could tell in his voice,” he said.

Two days later, Mr. Hartford drove up to Hometown Energy’s small office in his weathered gray Lincoln, walked inside, and made his desperate offer: The title to his car for some oil.

His offer stunned Janis Carlton, the only employee present. But she remembered that someone had offered, quietly, to donate 50 gallons of heating oil if an emergency case walked through the door. She called that person and explained the situation.

Her mother-in-law and office mate, Diane Carlton, answered without hesitation. Deliver the oil and I’ll pay for it, she said, which is one of the ways that Mainers make do in winter.

In Fuel Oil Country, Cold That Cuts to the Heart,






Storm Leaves Much of Country

Shivering, Shoveling

and Awaiting More


February 2, 2011

The New York Times



The blizzard that dropped a foot or more of snow across a staggeringly wide area of the country, from Oklahoma up through a paralyzed Chicago and across parts of an ice-glazed New England, finally began to weaken Wednesday. It left behind a long trail of spun-out cars, darkened homes, closed schools and stranded fliers.

But the harsh winter weather was not over, forecasters warned: a bitter cold front threatened to follow the storm, bringing subzero temperatures to many areas trying to dig out.

So even as Chicago was trying to recover from the third-biggest snowfall in its history — a monster of a storm that smothered the city in 20.2 inches of snow, stranded hundreds of drivers on Lake Shore Drive for hours, closed the city’s schools for the first time in a dozen years and whipped up gusts that reached 70 miles an hour at one point — the National Weather Service was still issuing warnings. The temperature there was expected to fall to 5 below zero overnight, and to 20 below in outlying areas, with the wind chill making it feel colder.

“It’s going to be a while before the snow and ice melts in a lot of areas,” said Christopher Vaccaro, a spokesman for the National Weather Service, noting that cold air was expected to pour down from northern Wisconsin all the way to Houston, which is forecast to have a hard freeze. “This was a large, giant, powerful storm.”

It was a terrible day for travel, whether by train, plane or automobile. More than 6,000 flights, about a fifth of the country’s air traffic, were canceled on Wednesday, according to FlightAware.com, which tracks air travel. Amtrak shut down service between New York and Philadelphia during the morning rush hour, and canceled many trains in and out of Chicago. Not only were side roads closed by snow and ice, but Interstate highways also were shut down.

Two-thirds of the country seemed to be reeling from one form of extreme weather or another. There were tornado warnings along the Gulf Coast. Snow and ice forced Texas to institute rolling power blackouts. The heavy snow in Oklahoma left The Tulsa World unable to print the newspaper for the first time in its 106-year history. Both Milwaukee and Chicago groaned under heavy snow.

In New York, falling ice shut both the Verrazano-Narrows and George Washington Bridges for part of the morning. And the snow, ice and freezing rain continued to move east across New England, and might have contributed to the collapse of an office building in Middletown, Conn., that sprayed bricks across Main Street.

With 30 states feeling the storm’s impact, the National Weather Service had to upgrade its Web site to handle traffic that reached up to 20 million hits an hour, officials said. Snow fell from New Mexico and Texas up to Minnesota, and east to Maine. Several places were hit with more than two feet of snow, and by Wednesday evening more than a foot of snow had been recorded in parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and several other states were close behind.

In Washington, President Obama was briefed by officials from the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The dangers of the storm were not over, and officials said it might have contributed to deaths from causes like car accidents and heart attacks in several states.

“The deep snow accumulation will make shoveling very difficult,” warned the National Weather Service, “and potentially deadly.”

Of course, all was not Snowmageddon. The white snow softened the hard edges of cities and towns around the nation, turning them into glittering Currier & Ives-like vistas, with stalactite icicles dripping from the eaves of houses. School closings made snowball fights easier, and the children of Chicago, many of whom had never had a snow day in their lives, found themselves sprung from classes not only on Wednesday but on Thursday as well.

But there were also plenty of headaches, and not only from the tear-inducing cold air that began to trickle down from the north. Hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses were left without power, especially in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Commutes were slippery messes, where they were possible at all. In many places the temperatures dipped just in time to turn slushy streets into dangerously icy streets. Shoveling felt like a Sisyphean task, as new snow and ice kept coating the cleared sidewalks.

In Boston, which has already received more than five feet of snow this winter, the back-to-back snowstorms on Tuesday and Wednesday had some people feeling like they were living in a continuous loop. That it was Feb. 2 — Groundhog Day — was not lost on Peter Judge, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency. “It’s Groundhog Day, and literally like ‘Groundhog Day’ the movie,” he said, in a nod to the film in which a day keeps repeating itself.


Reporting was contributed

by Monica Davey from Chicago,

Malcolm Gay from St. Louis,

A. G. Sulzberger from Kansas City, Mo.,

and Katie Zezima from Boston.

Storm Leaves Much of Country Shivering, Shoveling and Awaiting More,






This Winter,

New York City Is the New Buffalo


January 27, 2011
The New York Times


There was the recently familiar annoyance — at the buses that did not come, at the thigh-high stoops that had to be shoveled.

There was the unmistakable beauty — the snow-laden trees, the backdrops that Norman Rockwell could not have improved upon.

And there was the nagging question: Is New York City the new Buffalo, where snow — snow on the ground, snow on the roof, snow on the windowsill, snow in the forecast, snow measured with a yardstick, not a mere ruler — is just a fact of everyday life? All snow, all the time.

“I’m so used to it at this point,” said Diana Biederman, a publicist in Manhattan. “What days don’t we have snow?”

And so a fresh sense of snow fatigue settled over a city that has been hit hard in the last few weeks. Nineteen inches of heavy, wet snow fell on Central Park. That was only an inch less than the 20 inches that paralyzed the city a month ago, according to the National Weather Service. Parts of Connecticut and New Jersey got nearly as much, and snowfalls totaled at least a foot from Philadelphia to Boston.

In New York, where the slow response to the Dec. 26 blizzard became a black eye for Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and other officials, the battle was joined early. The mayor said on Thursday that 1,700 plows had worked overnight and that the city had hired 1,500 people to shovel crosswalks and bus stops.

But the city canceled school — Thursday was the ninth school day lost because of snow since 1978 and the fifth under Mr. Bloomberg — and transit officials suspended bus service until the storm had blown through, something they did not do as the December storm was bearing down and hundreds of buses got stuck in the snow, blocking plows and other traffic.

This time around, the mayor said at a news briefing, several dozen ambulances got stuck in the snow, but relief ambulances arrived quickly to carry patients to hospitals. And while the 911 system was flooded with calls and dispatches were slowed, “no calls ever remained in a queue,” the mayor said.

Transit officials also curtailed subway service when the storm was at its fiercest. Jay H. Walder, the chairman of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, said a few trains were stuck in the snow “for short periods of time,” but in contrast to the post-Christmas storm, few passengers were trapped onboard overnight. A transit spokesman said some remained on a train at the end of the line at Coney Island — they had nowhere else to go, and the heat was on in the train.

Mr. Walder said that the Metro-North Railroad through Westchester County and Connecticut “lost all service” for a while early Thursday. He said the Long Island Rail Road coped with delays during the morning rush as crews cleared station platforms and stairs.

At the airports, delays and cancellations were the order of the morning, though there, too, things were clearing up by the middle of the day.

There were signs that the snow was changing people’s routines. People sent e-mails and text messages about how a snow shovel was their new BFF — even apartment dwellers like Annie Tan, who lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn, bought one. Or they did what Alan Flax, a real estate broker from Forest Hills, Queens, did. He hired someone to help dig out his car, which was in Manhattan, on East Houston Street near Essex Street.

“It seems like an awful lot of snow in a short window,” he said. “Every week or every 10 days, it’s not just a little snow, it’s a lot of snow. It’s got me scratching my head — when did New York City become so snowbound?”

This is now the snowiest January since the National Weather Service started keeping track in 1869, and could end up being the snowiest month ever. So far the January total stands at 36 inches, 8.6 more than in 1925, the previous record-holder.

Tim Morrin, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s New York-area office on Long Island, also noted that this was already the sixth-snowiest winter on record, with a total of 56.5 inches. The snowiest was 1995-96, with 75.6 inches.

“And we have all of February and all of March to look forward to,” Mr. Morrin said. “We remain in a pretty cold pattern that would be conducive to more snow.”

Even in January. The Weather Service is calling for more snow, but only a little, by Saturday.

Which will bring New York closer to Buffalo’s total for the winter so far, 61.6 inches.

Steve McLaughlin, a weather service meteorologist there, said measurable snow had been recorded in Buffalo on 39 days.

“We keep getting our inch a day, an inch a day,” he said. “All we do up here is nickel-and-dime it, but we’ll beat you anyway. We have to keep up the reputation.”


Colin Moynihan and Andy Newman

contributed reporting.


This article has been revised

to reflect the following correction:

Correction: January 27, 2011

An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated

that the Port Authority had closed

La Guardia airport early on Thursday morning.

It was Teterboro Airport that was closed,

not La Guardia.

    This Winter, New York City Is the New Buffalo, NYT, 27.1.2011,






Huge Blizzard Snarls

Travel and Transit in the Northeast


December 26, 2010
The New York Times


A monster blizzard that barreled up the coast on Sunday continued to swirl over the New York region and the Northeast into Monday morning, with barrages of wind-driven snow that closed airports, disrupted rail and highway travel and transformed a dozen states into enchanted and borderless white dreamscapes.

Its timing was diabolical — too late for a white Christmas, but just in time to disrupt the travel plans of thousands trying to get home after the holiday, to return unwanted gifts or to take advantage of post-holiday bargains at stores. Schools were not in session, but millions of commuters were told to expect nightmarish slogs in and around the cities.

With the great abyss of winter yet to be crossed, forecasters in advance were reaching for superlatives, saying the storm was likely to be one of the biggest blows of the season, with wind gusts up to 55 miles an hour and snow two feet deep in spots. The National Weather Service predicted snowfalls of 16 to 20 inches in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut by Monday afternoon, when the storm was to taper off.

Blizzard warnings — official forecasts of huge snowfalls with sustained winds of 35 miles an hour — were in effect from the Carolinas to New England. North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey declared states of emergency, and New York, Philadelphia and Boston declared snow emergencies, imposing parking bans on major thoroughfares and urging residents to stay off the roads.

The weather service called it the biggest storm in the region since last February, when record snowfalls paralyzed the mid-Atlantic states but largely spared New York City, and the first blizzard since Feb. 12, 2006, when the 24-hour record for Central Park, 26.9 inches, was set.

By Sunday evening, the storm had already been blamed for at least one death, after a driver slammed into a utility pole in Mount Olive Township, N.J., according to the police there.

The snow began falling in New York late Sunday morning, and by 5 p.m. it had already eclipsed the average of 3.3 inches for the month of December.

Through the afternoon, the storm grew into an adventure. The snow came down in great sweeping curtains, drifting over parked cars and park benches to be sculpted into aerodynamic shapes.

Everywhere, the winds whispered and moaned in their secret Ice Age language. The blizzard spawned lightning flashes and thunder. Yet the sounds of the city were strangely muffled and distant. Sledders, snowboarders, hikers and even a few skiers were soon out, cutting fresh trails along the marbled Hudson or in the wilderness of Central Park.

The surrounding skylines were lost in the whiteout, and the playing fields of the Great Lawn might have been the plains of Nebraska or a steppe.

It was not a bad day to stay at home with the paper and watch the storm through panes etched with frost.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, wearing a bomber jacket and wheezing with a cold at a late-afternoon news conference, called it a dangerous storm that could down trees, disrupt railroad signal systems and pose hazards for drivers and the homeless.

“The latest reports are qualifying this storm as a blizzard, and unfortunately our city is directly in its path,” Mr. Bloomberg said.

The mayor said major roads would be cleared by plows overnight, but he urged commuters to take mass transit on Monday. The Long Island Rail Road suspended service late Sunday night, but its trains were expected to run on a holiday schedule on Monday. Metro-North said it would operate Monday using a Sunday schedule. New Jersey Transit suspended all bus service Sunday night. (Read the latest updates on the status of mass transit.)

Amtrak, citing problems with high winds that affect signals, switches and overhead wires, canceled trains south of Washington to Richmond and Newport News, Va., and later those between New York and Boston, although service between Washington and New York was not affected.

“Better to have people stay safe where they are, despite the inconvenience,” Cliff Cole, an Amtrak spokesman, said of the cancellations.

Air travel was virtually impossible. More than 2,000 flights were canceled by major airlines on the Eastern Seaboard, 1,444 of them at Kennedy International and La Guardia Airports in New York and Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey. Spillback cancellations affected hundreds of other flights from Chicago and Atlanta, and even from London and Paris.

By Sunday night, Kennedy and Newark had suspended all flights, and few were operating out of La Guardia.

One terminal at Kennedy was transformed into a campsite of refugees. Entire families rested on stacks of luggage, slept on the floor in sleeping bags, watched movies on laptops and ate lunches on suitcases. People streamed to information booths, but it was hopeless: Boards listed nearly all flights as canceled.

On the AirTrain to Kennedy from Jamaica, travelers told their tales of woe and hope. Luciana and Marcelo Dossa were bound for Austin, Tex., after a week’s visit to New York. Their American Airlines flight had been scratched, but they went to the airport on the chance that something else might turn up. “We decided to come anyway because we need to find a way to get home,” Mrs. Dossa said.

Amid the whiteout conditions outside, many homes went dark. Consolidated Edison reported more than 560 power outages in New York City, the vast majority in Queens and not expected to be fixed until Monday evening. Nearly 10,400 customers on Long Island lost service from the Long Island Power Authority, and more than 1,500 people were without power in New Jersey. About 4,900 lost electricity in Connecticut, mostly along the coast.

People who ventured out in cars found major roads plowed but slippery; the police reported many spinouts and minor accidents on Sunday. Many bus carriers canceled service between Washington and Boston, where the New England Aquarium bubble-wrapped its four 5-foot penguin ice sculptures to protect them from the elements.

In Philadelphia, where 20 inches of snow was expected, the National Football League postponed the Eagles-Vikings game from Sunday night to Tuesday night. League officials said the last time a forecast of heavy snow changed a scheduled outdoor game was in 1932, when the league championship game between the Chicago Bears and the Portsmouth Spartans was moved indoors.

The Washington area, which had a series of rare snowstorms last winter, was largely spared by this one, an enclave of serenity in the crocodile-shaped mass that crawled up the Atlantic Coast. The weather service, which had predicted 6 to 10 inches of snow for the capital region, scaled it back at midday to 1 to 2 inches, and Ronald Reagan and Dulles International Airports remained open with normal service.

For retailers, who had enjoyed a big run-up to the holiday, there was a chill in the day-after-Christmas sales, traditionally one of the year’s biggest shopping days. In Brooklyn, the Atlantic Terminal Mall had only a smattering of customers, not the usual day-after frenzy.

Rebecca Godfrey, 28, a manager at Dead Sea Spa skin care kiosk, said that in 40 minutes only three people stopped in, and only one made a purchase. On the same day last year, she said, 40 to 50 visited, and half bought products. “Usually the day after Christmas is like my favorite day to work,” Ms. Godfrey said. “But today I just felt like being home.”

At the Doubletree Hotel in Times Square, three generations of the stranded Braceras family from Miami — 11 members in all — were sprawled in the lobby with suitcases, and dwindling options. They should have been on the ski slopes of Vermont, starting a weeklong vacation. But their connecting flight had been canceled, and hopes for a car service had been dashed.

At least they had a room upstairs. Sue Braceras, the matriarch, presided as her brood talked of an impromptu sightseeing tour, perhaps with stops at Radio City Music Hall to see the Rockettes, and to the American Girl shop on Fifth Avenue. But it was all doubtful.

“We’re going to have a ball,” Elizabeth Campo, one of the adult daughters, said through gritted teeth as five children scampered among the suitcases. “My husband went to the room already with the baby. He said he’s not leaving the room for two days.”


Reporting was contributed by Al Baker, Judy Battista,

Michael M. Grynbaum, Angela Macropoulos,

Liz Robbins, Noah Rosenberg and Sarah Wheaton.

Huge Blizzard Snarls Travel and Transit in the Northeast,
NYT, 26.12.2010,






Clearing Roads in Winter

Requires Snowphistication


February 16, 2010
Filed at 6:14 a.m. ET
The New York Times


CHICAGO (AP) -- The forecast: a mighty winter blizzard sure to dump a record-setting blanket of snow that will grow from inches to feet overnight, just in time for rush hour.

When it happened this month in Washington, they called it ''Snowpocalypse'' and an overwhelmed city couldn't keep its streets clear. When it happened last week in Chicago, they called it ''Tuesday'' and kept the blacktop black from first flakes to final drifts.

''I'd take my plow drivers and put them up against anyone in North America,'' said Bobby Richardson, Chicago's snow removal boss. ''Ten inches, a foot of snow? That's nothing for us. Nothing.''

That's not the case outside of Chicago and other cities in the American snow belt, where the strategy for cleaning the streets of winter's wrath is often based on a calculated risk that snow won't fall where snow usually doesn't. Most years, that gamble pays off. But this winter, historic blizzards have struck cities where traffic-snarling snowfalls are rare or even unheard of, exposing the dangers of counting on the Big One not to hit.

''You won't see bare pavement for at least three weeks -- and that's if we don't get another snow next week,'' Steve Shannon, an operations manager at the Virginia Department of Transportation, said late last week about suburban Washington's Fairfax County.

To be fair, the one-two punch of storms that socked the East Coast this month were record-setting, with snow falling so fast and deep Washington pulled its plows from the road. A quarter were knocked out of commission entirely by the struggle of trying to move so much snow off the streets.

And yet Richardson and his legendary snow-clearing legions argue that keeping a city moving during such a blizzard isn't an insurmountable task. Should as much snow fall on Chicago as it did in Washington this month, more than 500 plows and 1,000 workers -- hardened by years of work in tough Midwestern winters -- are prepared to wipe it all away.

''Chicago would get through such a storm, and while it would not be total normalcy, the city would still function,'' said Matt Smith, a spokesman for the city's Department of Streets and Sanitation.

Buried by snow this month, cities across the Mid-Atlantic states were forced to scramble to locate plows, hiring hundreds from private contractors and seeking help from neighboring states. No place seemed more unprepared for the weather than the Washington area: The federal government shut down for days as District residents complained of a spotty, haphazard response that left some streets all but abandoned.

And in the South, where even a light dusting is enough to paralyze commuters until the weather warms up and melts away the problem, most major cities have only a handful of plows -- if any at all. In Dallas, a city of 1.2 million people but not a single dedicated snow plow, authorities count on snowflakes melting the minute they touch the ground.

That didn't happen last week, when the worst storm in nearly five decades dropped more than a foot of snow in northern Texas. All the city could do was send reconnaissance teams to identify slick spots and direct trucks to spread sand.

''Historically, that has handled every situation we face,'' city spokesman Frank Librio said.

So, which city is best at cleaning up after the Big One? Chicago, Buffalo, N.Y., or some other snowy locale? Those who study the business of providing such services say looking at comparable data is the only way to credibly assess whether one snow removal strategy beats another. But not only does such information not exist, the hundreds of variables involved complicate any effort to devise a master strategy.

For example, St. Paul, Minn., is far hillier than its Twin Cities counterpart of Minneapolis, which is filled with more alleys and more cars -- obstacles plows must dodge. Each snowfall is different, too: light, powdery snow falls when the temperatures drop close to zero, and wet, heavy snow comes when the temperature hovers around freezing.

''The snow and ice community has struggled with this topic for years as the methods, equipment, availability of resources and most importantly, level of service and winter severity, vary enormously from state to state, region to region,'' said Caleb Dobbins, a state maintenance engineer at the New Hampshire Department of Transportation.

What can be measured is preparation. With an annual average snowfall of 38 inches, Chicago maintains a fleet of 300 trucks specifically designed for removing snow, 200 others that can be fitted with plow blades and budgeted $17 million for the work this winter. Washington, with an average of 19.4 inches of snow each year, has 200 trucks that can be fitted with blades and a snow budget of $6 million.

Some Washington residents say the district is in a no-win situation: slammed for not being prepared when the Big One hits, but likely to face criticism if it spent much more on snow removal.

''I don't know how prudent it would be to throw millions of taxpayer dollars at a problem that may not rear its head in a century,'' said Mike DeBonis, a columnist for the Washington City Paper.

If the already cash-strapped city wanted to spend more on snow, he added, it would be forced to cut other, arguably higher priority services, such as garbage collection or tree trimming.

Head farther South and the preparation naturally gets even thinner. In Pensacola, Fla., there is no budget for snow removal. The city has a fertilizer spreader that can work with sand, but no snow-clearing master plan that in snowbelt cities typically includes target times for clearing streets.

''If we knew a cold front was coming in, I'd have to go to a pool company and buy some sodium chloride,'' said Pensacola public works director Al Garza. ''Every time we take precautions, (we) stockpile some masonry sands in different locations and end up not using it.''

Then comes a month like February, when snow covers some ground in 49 states; two-thirds of the nation's land mass had snow cover Friday. While Garza was safe, snow fell just 40 miles north of Pensacola last week. After brief respite over the weekend, it was snowing again in Washington on Monday.

The consequences of failing to clear that snow can be deadly. Each year, more than 1,300 people are killed and more than 116,000 injured in vehicle crashes on snowy, slushy or icy pavement, according to the U.S. Federal Highway Administration. A storm that shuts down roads also closes the door of business, costing communities hundreds of millions of dollars in lost sales taxes and revenue from income taxes.

''The benefits of being better prepared far outweigh the costs -- because it costs so much when the Big One does hit,'' said Greg Cohen, executive director of the Roadway Safety Foundation, whose own street in Washington was still unplowed several days after the storms hit.

Then there's the politics of snow: Mayors know failure to remove it can cost them their jobs.

Every mayor knows the story of Chicago's Michael Bilandic, the incumbent who lost in the 1979 Democratic primary after the city failed to clear streets fast enough after a storm. These days, voters embrace Mayor Richard M. Daley in part because the crews at Streets and Sanitation keeps the city in business every winter: The city's public schools haven't had a ''snow day'' in more than a decade.

''I got more calls from mayors during snow storms than at any other time,'' said Tom Eggum, a retired public works director in St. Paul. ''It's probably because of what happened in Chicago.''

While nearly 70 percent of the U.S. population lives in an area that gets some snow each year, there's a consensus Chicago gets rid of it as well as any place else. The city received an A grade for clearing its main streets from the Illinois Policy Institute following last week's storm, which broke the single-day snowfall record for February by dropping more than a foot of snow on the city.

A cool confidence flows through Richardson's downtown snow command center, where the city's deputy streets commissioner sleeps on a cot so he can work around the clock during a storm. He oversees a dozen dispatchers who comb through satellite data, watch giant screens showing up to 1,000 live camera shots of major streets, and call plow drivers to let them know they've missed a spot or need to drop their blade a little lower.

The drivers at the other end of a dispatcher's call are often under the most pressure, intently focused for 12 or more hours at a time on the road ahead, anxious about clipping curbs, cars or even pedestrians as they clear Chicago's 9,500 miles of street lanes. They're helped by a merciless towing operation that clears illegally parked cars to make room for the plows.

Cohen, the Roadway Safety Foundation chief, said Washington and other cities ill-prepared for snow should heed the lessons of this February winter and start preparing for the next Big One by building up that kind of snow-fighting force. But he doesn't have faith it will happen: As voters, people might remember street-clearing failures, but as taxpayers, they tend to forget as soon as the snow melts.

''People say it should be done,'' he said. ''But then no one connects the dots that someone has to pay for it.''


Associated Press writers Jessica Gresko

and Sarah Karush in Washington,

Jeff Karoub in Detroit, Briana Bierschbach

in St. Paul, Minn.,

Linda Steward Ball in Dallas,

Carolyn Thompson in Buffalo, N.Y.,

and Scott Bauer in Madison, Wis.,

contributed to this report.

    Clearing Roads in Winter Requires Snowphistication, NYT, 16.2.2010,






Big Chill:

Blast of Arctic Air Stuns Eastern US


January 17, 2009
Filed at 4:43 a.m. ET
The New York Times


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- Alabama briefly turned colder than Alaska, water fountains froze into ice sculptures in South Carolina and Florida shivered through its brush with the Arctic air blast that deadened car batteries in the Northeast and prompted scattered Midwest power outages.

As Southerners awaited an expected weekend thaw, the Northeast persisted under the bitterly cold air from Canada that sent temperatures plunging in some places below minus 30 degrees Friday and left even longtime residents reluctant to venture outdoors.

Quentin Masters braved the Big Chill, making a trip to a Syracuse, N.Y., post office to mail his sister a gift for her birthday Monday.

''It was almost too cold to come down,'' he said, but he added, ''I don't want to be late.''

Single-digit temperatures and subzero wind chills were expected in western New York through the weekend, with more seasonable conditions moving in early next week.

To Southerners, who rarely see temperatures so cold, the icebox-like weather was the most jarring. Construction worker Allen Johnson wore a gray beanie, flannel shirt, long johns and boots as he stopped for coffee in Montgomery, Ala., after an overnight low of 22 degrees Friday.

''No matter how bad it is, it could be worse -- we could be in Anchorage, Alaska,'' Johnson said. Actually, the temperature was about 20 degrees warmer in Anchorage for a while Friday.

Freezing temperatures threatened to kill picturesque Spanish moss hanging from Gulf Coast trees. In Spartanburg, S.C., a hard freeze coated a water fountain in shimmering icicles. And it was too cold to bet on dogs in West Virginia, ditto for Tennessee.

Heather Davis, of NashvillePAW Magazine, was watching as her photographer unsuccessfully tried to coax their cover model, a white poodle named Cotton, to pose outdoors for the animal publication in that city in Tennessee. Cotton, who is up for adoption, ran to the car and didn't want to leave.

''I don't think I realized how cold it was,'' Davis said, laughing.

But gusting winds were no laughing matter in Ohio, where temperatures pushed to their lowest this winter and forced scattered power outages. Lows ranged from minus 6 degrees in Cincinnati to minus 14 degrees in Dayton and Toledo -- just missing record lows for Friday's date.

Thousands in Ohio and Illinois lost power for several hours while Charleston, W.Va.-based Appalachian Power, which delivers electricity to more than 1 million customers Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia, had record electricity demand as businesses and homes cranked up the heat.

In Columbus, Ohio, 45-year-old Brandon Champney beat the cold by visiting the orchid exhibit at the Franklin Park Conservatory -- a deliciously climate-controlled 72 degrees.

''It's beautiful, warm, great,'' Champney said.

The cold claimed at least six lives since Friday and contributed to dozens of traffic accidents. One death involved a man in a wheelchair who was found in subzero temperatures stuck in the snow, a shovel in his hand, outside his home in Des Moines, Iowa.

In central Pennsylvania, AAA fielded a spike in calls from motorists whose batteries went dead or door locks froze shut. Wind chills were as low as 25 degrees below zero in greater Pittsburgh.

In Michigan, a winter storm watch was in effect for parts of the Lower Peninsula, where up to 8 inches of snow could fall by Sunday morning, the weather service said.

And in Illinois, where a low of 32 degrees below zero was recorded in a north-central area Friday, the weather service predicted only modest weekend relief -- sort of. The mercury was expected to head Saturday into the 20s in northern Illinois and the 30s in southern Illinois.

''The heat wave begins,'' meteorologist Tim Halbach quipped.


Associated Press writers William Kates in Syracuse,

Kristin M. Hall in Nashville, Tenn.,

and David Mercer in Champaign, Ill., contributed to this report.

    Big Chill: Blast of Arctic Air Stuns Eastern US, NYT, 17.1.2009,






Coldest night for 20 years

in parts of southern England

• Benson in Oxfordshire records lowest figure at -11.8C
• Primary school shut after thieves steal heating oil


Wednesday 7 January 2009
14.14 GMT
Steven Morris and Sam Jones
This article was first published
on guardian.co.uk at 14.14 GMT
on Wednesday 7 January 2009.
It was last updated at 14.16 GMT
on Wednesday 7 January 2009.


The icy blast continues to grip many parts of the UK after some parts of the country shivered through their coldest night for more than 20 years. The coldest place was Benson in Oxfordshire, at -11.8C – the chilliest night there for 11 years.

But last night was even more of a shock to residents of coastal areas in the south-west who normally enjoy a relatively mild climate even at this time of year. At Culdrose, near Helston in south-west Cornwall, the temperature dropped to -7.8C. It was the second coldest night on record and the chilliest since January 1987.

Steven Morris reports from Somerset, which is enduring some of the coldest weather in the UK Link to this audio
Up the coast in Plymouth, south Devon, it reached -7C, again the coldest for 21 years. At 10am this morning it was still -3.1C in Plymouth and -2.3C in Yeovilton, Somerset. Within the M25 it was -2C at Kenley, near Croydon, at 10am.

Further north it was warming up a little as a band of cloud slowly made its way down the country. North-west Scotland was enjoying a relatively balmy 7C.

Over the next few days it is likely to stay warmer in the north but remain perishing in many parts of the south. There was a dusting of snow in many places in England today, but the Met Office does not believe there are likely to be heavy falls.

In north Wales a primary school had to stay shut after thieves stole an emergency delivery of heating oil. Tania Armstrong-Owen, headteacher of the 50-pupil Ysgol Rhewl in Ruthin, branded the thieves "callous" and said the primary school could be closed until Friday.

"I am absolutely appalled," she said. "It is a really close community and we are a small and rural school. We take it quite personally. It is devastating really. I think it is despicable to target a small primary school. They ripped off the lid of the tank and took between 800 and 900 litres. It's bitterly cold in the school and we are closed today."

Tens of thousands of motorists were left stranded yesterday, a record day for car breakdowns. The AA and RAC said the situation was the worst for five years; they dealt with an estimated 50,000 call outs over two days.

Among the victims of perilous driving conditions was a woman cyclist who was seriously injured when she was run over by a Land Rover that skidded on ice in Clevedon, Somerset. In Dorset a man escaped injury after his BMW 325 convertible spun off the road and hit a telegraph pole near Bournemouth International airport.

In Devon and Cornwall police warned drivers to delay journeys after seven crashes, including two multi-car collisions. Many breakdowns were recorded in the Bristol, Bournemouth, London and Birmingham areas.

Welsh Water apologised to customers in the Rhondda Fach area of south Wales who may experience problems with their water supply as a result of the cold snap, and pensioners have been advised to take extra precautions to make sure they keep warm.

The elderly and vulnerable are receiving a £25-a-week heating bill subsidy from the government. The payout – which is triggered when an area's average temperature falls to 0C or below for seven consecutive days – has so far cost more than £100m. The freeze sparked calls from Macmillan Cancer Support for the government to extend winter fuel payments to cancer patients.

For some people, though, the harsh weather has unusual rewards: in central London shivering tourists saw the fountains in Trafalgar Square freeze.

    Coldest night for 20 years in parts of southern England, G, 7.1.2009,






Northeast Ice Storm Darkens Homes,

Fills Shelters


December 13, 2008
Filed at 10:51 a.m. ET
The New York Times


CONCORD, N.H. (AP) -- As it got down into the teens and single digits in New Hampshire, people who lost power from a massive ice storm showed up at some shelters by the dozens.

''We're just loading up more cots and more blankets; I guess we're up to 36 people already,'' Kevin Pratt, fire chief in the southern New Hampshire town of Raymond said Friday night.

The local middle school usually houses 25 people comfortably, but if the need's there, they'll accommodate, he said. Visitors could eat a spaghetti-and-meatball dinner and take a shower.

''People's houses are getting cold and they're getting cold,'' Pratt said. ''They're wise.''

The town has about 10,000 residents, just about all of whom were in the dark following the storm, which left 1.25 million homes and businesses in New England without electricity; some were expected to stay that way for at least several days.

In New Hampshire, emergency management officials, the Red Cross and local communities opened at least 25 shelters across the state.

Gov. John Lynch, who requested a federal emergency declaration in order to receive generators, cots and other supplies from the government, urged residents to check on their neighbors, especially those who are elderly and live alone.

''I think there's no substitute for that kind of neighbor-to-neighbor assistance that New Hampshire is traditionally famous for,'' Lynch said.

The ice storm compared with some of the Northeast's worst, especially in New Hampshire, where more than half the state -- 400,000-plus homes and businesses -- was without power. There were far fewer outages during the infamous Ice Storm of '98, when some residents spent more than a week in the dark.

''All the motels have no electricity, and that's why I'm here,'' said Duke Straychan of Hampton, who came to stay overnight at Portsmouth High School. He can't do without power because he uses an oxygen tank at night. People at the shelter dined on American chop suey and shepherd's pie and watched ''The Polar Express'' in the cafeteria.

Hot meals of turkey and mashed potatoes were delivered to people staying at Londonderry High School. There were about 100 visitors with more expected, said Leslie Shaffer, a spokeswoman for the American Red Cross. She believed most would still be there on Saturday.

The numbers also were rising at Nashua High School South, as well, as surrounding towns filled up their own shelters, said Mark Sousa, the city's emergency manager.

People lost power as far south as Pennsylvania, but most of the outages were in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Maine and New York. Ice-covered trees cracked and fell on roads and cars.

''This is pathetic,'' said Bob Cott of Portland, Maine, who lost power. ''I'm already sick of winter and we have nine days to go before it officially begins.''

At least one death was related to the storm: New Hampshire officials said a 49-year-old Danville man who lived in a camper died of carbon monoxide poisoning after turning on his generator when his power went out Thursday night.

Both Lynch and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick declared states of emergency Friday morning and called up members of the National Guard. Five hundred Massachusetts Guard members were cleaning up debris and clearing access to downed power lines. Lynch put 150 on alert and deployed 25.

''All of the resources at our disposal have been made available to try to get the roads clear and power restored,'' said Patrick, adding that it would be ''ambitious'' to think power would be restored by Monday to the 350,000 homes and businesses in his state left in the dark.

''This is not going to be a couple of hours,'' Patrick said. ''It's likely to be several days.''

In Methuen, Mass., 40-year-old Itziar Richardson of North Andover was staying at a Red Cross shelter at the Comprehensive Grammar School with her husband and their 2-month-old son.

''I'm not having a good day,'' she said. ''It's definitely not the best situation with the baby, but you have to make the best of it.''

Crews from Canada and South Carolina were headed to Maine, where Gov. John Baldacci declared a limited emergency allowing utility crews to work longer hours. Utilities there chipped away at a huge backlog of power outages, reducing the total of more than 225,000 customers to about 210,000, mostly in southern and coastal areas.

In eastern New York, particularly around Albany, the state capital, outages at National Grid and other utilities brought the statewide total to more than 255,000.

''Trees were down on all the roads,'' said Miguel Figueroa, 28, as he waited for coffee at a Starbucks in Colonie, N.Y. ''... I couldn't even get on the Thruway today.''

In Vermont, four shelters were set up in southern Vermont for the more than 20,000 customers who were without power Friday night. It could be days before some homes and businesses get their lights back on, officials said.

Route 9 between Brattleboro and Bennington, Vt., a major road, was closed because of downed trees.

The ice storm extended to Pennsylvania, where about 4,700 customers, most of them in the Poconos, lost power, and Connecticut, where some 17,000 customers were without electricity at the height of the storm. Those states mostly got heavy rain or rain changing to snow.


Associated Press writers David Tirrell-Wysocki

and Holly Ramer in Concord, N.H.;

Beth LaMontagne Hall in Portsmouth, N.H.;

Mark Pratt in Boston;

Clarke Canfield in Portland, Maine;

John Curran and Lisa Rathke in Montpelier, Vt.;

and Mike Hill and Jessica M. Pasko in Albany, N.Y.,

contributed to this report.

    Northeast Ice Storm Darkens Homes, Fills Shelters, NYT, 13.12.2008,






Winter Storms Hit Northern U.S.


February 1, 2008
The New York Times


Snow, sleet and freezing rain pelted the northern Midwest and northeastern states Friday, closing the Buffalo airport and causing travel delays around the region. Hundreds of flights were canceled Thursday at Chicago’s O’Hare airport, and Friday started with arrival delays averaging two and a half hours, according to federal aviation officials.

As much as a foot of snow was expected by late Friday in the Chicago area and in southern Michigan, and snow covering roadways was expected to snarl traffic during the morning and evening rush hours. Dozens of school districts in Michigan were closed because of treacherous road conditions.

The storm was expected to move northeast during the day, with the snow changing to freezing rain and ice in northern Pennsylvania and New York and possibly accumulating on tree limbs and power lines, dragging them down. Forecasters said that as much as a half an inch of ice could accumulate on exposed surfaces. Winds gusting up to 40 miles per hour over much of the Northeast could add to the damage.

The icy conditions were expected to move into northern New England overnight with similar accumulations in places like Burlington, Vermont.

Freezing rain also fell in western Virginia and North Carolina along the Interstate 81 corridor.

Accumulating snow and ice forced authorities to close Buffalo Niagara airport at 6:30 a.m. on Friday. It reopened late in the morning. Poor weather conditions slowed operations at the New York area’s La Guardia and Newark airports, with arrival delays averaging about two hours by late morning. Delays at Philadelphia’s airport were averaging slightly more than an hour.

As much as two inches of rain was expected to fall along the coastal region stretching from Philadelphia to Boston.

Blowing snow in northern Texas resulted in whiteout conditions that caused a 40-vehicle chain reaction collision on Interstate 40 that killed one person, according to The Associate Press. A total of four deaths were attributed to the storm.

In the far west, heavy snows and the threat of avalanches prompted authorities to close highways and declare states of emergency, as they struggled to clear away the heavy accumulations.

    Winter Storms Hit Northern U.S., NYT, 1.2.2008,






Snow, Cold, Storms

Pound the Midwest


January 30, 2008
Filed at 8:40 a.m. ET
The New York Times


CHICAGO (AP) -- Severe thunderstorms, tornadoes and fierce winds sliced through the Midwest and took aim at the Northeast early Wednesday, leaving behind bitterly cold air and blizzards in the northern Plains that sent temperatures in some areas plummeting by 50 degrees in a few hours.

The bad weather reached upstate New York by early Wednesday and forecasters warned that the arctic blast would send mercury tumbling across the Northeast and New England.

''This is going to be a hard, vicious slap in the face from Mother Nature,'' Gino Izzi, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Romeoville, Ill., said Tuesday night. ''The temperature drop we saw was really spectacular in a bad way.''

The temperature in Buffalo, N.Y., went from a high of 54 degrees Tuesday to 21 degrees by 7 a.m. Wednesday, with winds gusting to more than 60 mph. Power was out in 40,000 homes and businesses, roads were slick and most schools in the Buffalo area were closed.

In northern Illinois, high winds downed power lines and knocked trees onto utility lines, causing nearly 14,000 customers to lose power overnight, mostly in Chicago's south suburbs, said ComEd spokeswoman Judy Rader. Service to all but 1,300 had been restored by Wednesday morning.

Thousands also were without power in Ohio and Illinois. In Michigan, Lower Peninsula residents were in the dark as blizzard conditions hit the western and northern parts of the state.

The winds and thunderstorms may have killed two people in Indiana on Tuesday, authorities said. Firefighters in southwestern Indiana pulled two bodies from a mobile home near Evansville that had been turned on its side by winds in a thunderstorm, WEHT-TV reported.

Wind gusts as high as 70 mph created problems for air travel and avalanche warnings were issued for some Western regions. Tornadoes or reports of tornadoes surfaced in several communities in the nation's midsection.

''I wouldn't call it a common occurrence to see winds this strong with this kind of snow,'' Izzi said. ''This isn't something we see every year.''

The system also dragged frigid air across the northern Plains. The Weather Service reported midday temperature Tuesday of minus-24 degrees at Glasgow, Mont. North Dakota registered wind chill factors of minus-54 degrees at Garrison, while Williston hit a low of minus-24 degrees.

Most of Minnesota was under wind chill warnings until noon Wednesday due to indexes that fell into the minus-30 degree level. It was as low as 50 degrees below freezing in Hibbing.

Though only light snow fell in western, central and eastern Iowa on Tuesday, winds snapping as fast as 60 mph caused visibility problems, and temperatures dropped into single digits.

''It's a little worse than your average snowstorm,'' said Rod Donovan, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Des Moines, Iowa.

Some 1,500 workers went home early from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., while critical medical staff were put up in hotels so they could stay close to serve patients. The blustery winds also put flight operations on ice at the Rochester airport.

In Cape Girardeau County, Mo., winds were as strong as 70 mph and dime-size hail fell. Two unconfirmed funnel clouds were reported, said Dick Knaup, the county's emergency management director.

The weather week began with heavy snow pummeling mountain areas from Washington state to northern Arizona as two storms converged, one from hard-hit California and another from the Gulf of Alaska, meteorologists said.

The storms were followed Tuesday by a third that threatened to leave up to 20 inches of snow in Idaho's mountains, said Jay Breidenbach of the Weather Service office in Boise, Idaho.

A fourth storm was on the way to the interior West: ''By Thursday, the next storm will be right on our doorstep. This is quite a storm system,'' Breidenbach said.

In the snow farther west, avalanche danger forced officials to close Interstate 90 at Snoqualmie Pass, Washington state's main east-west artery across the Cascade Mountains. The pass was to remain closed until Wednesday morning, Meagan McFadden of the state Department of Transportation said.

More than 200 trucks were backed up at North Bend, waiting to move freight across the pass. On a typical weekday, as many as 7,000 trucks travel I-90 over Snoqualmie Pass, she said.

Snow also closed highways in Minnesota, Colorado and Wyoming.

Two of three snowmobilers lost in the mountains west of Denver were found late Tuesday, said Summit County sheriff's spokeswoman Paulette Horr. The third was still missing.

In Oregon, two snowmobilers were rescued Monday after spending two nights in the Wallowa Mountains, where they were trapped by storms. Authorities said the two were dressed warmly and equipped with survival gear, matches and an avalanche beacon.


Associated Press writers P. Solomon Banda in Denver; Sophia Tareen and Michael Tarm in Chicago; Henry C. Jackson in Des Moines, Iowa; Keith Ridler in Boise, Idaho; and Arthur H. Rotstein in Tucson, Ariz., contributed to this report.


On the Net:

Weather Service warnings: http://www.weather.gov/view/nationalwarnings.php

    Snow, Cold, Storms Pound the Midwest, NYT, 30.1.2008,






New England

Gets New Blast of Snow


January 14, 2008

Filed at 12:00 p.m. ET

The New York Times



BOSTON (AP) -- New England's first major winter storm of 2008 snarled the Monday morning commute with heavy snow and closed hundreds of schools.

Following the snowiest December on record in some parts of the region, and a spell of spring-like warmth, meteorologists said as much as 14 inches of snow was possible in southern New Hampshire and areas west and north of Boston.

Many communities declared snow emergencies in advance of the storm and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino ordered only essential city employees to report to work.

Snow piled up quickly with 11 inches by late morning at Winchendon, in north-central Massachusetts, the National Weather Service said. Pine Plains, N.Y., near the Connecticut state line, reported 7 inches, and Burlington, Conn., had 6.5 inches. The Boston area had about 5.

Kaj Munic was up at 4:30 a.m. plowing the heavy, wet snow off driveways in Columbia, Conn. ''You have to hit most places at least twice,'' said Munic, a 59-year-old contractor.

Hundreds of public and private schools canceled classes for the day in anticipation of the snow in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island and parts of eastern New York.

School officials were taking no chances, especially after a Dec. 13 storm in which many youngsters in Providence, R.I., were stuck on buses for hours. That storm also caused monumental traffic jams around Boston.

Numerous flights were canceled at airports including Boston's Logan International and Maine's Portland International Jetport.

''We are open, but capacity is very low because airlines made decisions yesterday and (Monday) morning to cancel many of their flights,'' said Phil Orlandella, a spokesman for the Massachusetts Port Authority.

Utilities reported scattered power outages, including a peak of more than 36,000 homes and businesses blacked out in Connecticut, said Mitch Gross, a spokesman for Connecticut Light and Power. More than 9,000 lost power in Massachusetts.

''It's the issue of heavy wet snow taking down trees or tree branches, which are taking down wires,'' Gross said.

The New Hampshire Legislature canceled all events.

Authorities said major highways were slick and a number of accidents and spinouts were reported. But volume was lighter than usual as many commuters apparently heeded storm forecasts.

''Right now, we're not seeing the traffic that we would normally see on a Monday,'' said Massachusetts State Police Lt. Eric Anderson.

The snowfall was lighter than expected in some areas, with the Connecticut measurements falling short of the predicted accumulation of up to 14 inches. Initial forecasts for New York City's northern suburbs were for as much as a foot, but the metro area got mostly rain.

So far this winter, Concord, N.H., has gotten 54 inches of snow, nearly 44 inches has fallen at Portland, Maine, and Bangor, Maine, has totaled 49 inches.


Associated Press writers Steve Feica

in Hartford, Conn.,

Dave Collins in Windsor, Conn.,

and Pat Eaton-Robb in Columbia, Conn.,

contributed to this report.

New England Gets New Blast of Snow,
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