Blizzard conditions caused by winter storm Hercules start off the new year with a snowy, frigid start in the Northeast as forecasters and government officials issue warnings of its impact. The storm could dump up to 14 inches of snow in Boston. Blizzard warnings have been issued for Long Island from late Thursday to Friday. Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York has announced that commuters not drive during that time, citing the possibility of road closings. New York is expected to get anywhere from 3 to 7 inches of snow.
The storm already left its calling card in the Midwest, hitting some states on New Year’s Eve and others on New Year’s Day. States that did not get very much snow still got the wind and biting temperatures. This comes at the end of people’s holiday break as they try to return to their homes and jobs. Approximately 1,000 flights have been canceled, many from the Chicago O’Hare International Airport and the Newark Liberty International Airport. Travelers should check with the airlines regarding any flights cancellations.
Once the blizzard conditions are over in the Northeast, temperatures are expected to drop to single digits at night in major cities like New York, Boston and Philadelphia. Meteorologists are predicting this will be the coldest winter for the area since 2009.
Sub-zero wind chills are expected in many places throughout the Northeast including New York, Long Island, Boston, and Connecticut. According to the National Weather Service, Albany, NY, could get as much as 14 inches of snow and wind chills of 15 to 25 below zero. Long Island will be under a blizzard warning from 6 p.m. Thursday to 1 p.m. Friday. Snow predictions for the island range from 8 to 10 inches and sustained winds around 35 miles an hour. New York City, in addition to snowfall, will have gusting winds and below-zero wind chills.
The Boston forecast includes anywhere from 5 to 11 inches of snow with moderate coastal flooding. The temperature is expected to reach 3 below zero. The city will also experience strong winds. In parts of Connecticut, wind chills for Thursday night and Friday are predicted to drop between 5 and 20 below zero. The state will also have to contend with snow and wind.
The predictions of biting cold temperatures are not to be taken lightly. The Midwest is already experiencing those wind chills. Not all the states were hit with large amounts of snow, but even those areas with little to no accumulation were not exempt from a drop in temperatures within a few hours. People were stocking up in grocery stores, partly for the holiday celebrations and partly to get shopping done before the bad weather.
The new year is starting off with blizzard conditions in the Northeast. Emergency personnel, meteorologists and government officials are telling residents to stock up, be prepared and be careful. The combination of snow, gusting and sustained winds can cause whiteout conditions on the roads. The storm has already been blamed for snarled traffic in parts of the Midwest. If travel is necessary, local forecasts and road conditions should be checked first for information and safety.
By Cynthia Collins
The Wall Street Journal