• Wed. Mar 29th, 2023


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April Storm Brings Heavy Snow and Rain to Northeast

A spring storm dropped heavy snow across central Pennsylvania on Monday and was heading into New York State, bringing power failures and the potential for slushy roadways overnight.

A winter storm warning from the National Weather Service is in effect for counties across northern Pennsylvania and into central and northern New York State through noon on Tuesday. Heavy, wet snow could bring down power lines, the service said, and travel could be “very difficult.” Roads in some parts of Pennsylvania were already impassable.

The south-central parts of Pennsylvania had received up to 8 inches of snow by Monday afternoon, while the central portions of the state saw about 2 inches, said Brian Hurley, a meteorologist with the Weather Service.

Mr. Hurley said the higher elevation regions in New York State, such as the Adirondacks and Catskills, which are sparsely populated, could receive the highest snowfalls of up to a foot. Syracuse, N.Y., could get 3 to 5 inches and Ithaca about 7 inches overnight, he added.

“It’s highly, highly impactful, and it could cause power outages and road closures,” Mr. Hurley said.

In New York State, more than 16,000 customers had lost power on Monday night, according to PowerOutage.us, which aggregates data from utilities across the United States. National Grid and Con Edison, two power companies in the state, said crews had been mobilized to respond to expected outages overnight.

Jared Paventi, a spokesman for National Grid, said on Monday night that strong winds had caused a circuit breaker to fail, resulting in 8,000 customers losing power from Saratoga Springs up to Glens Falls. He added that power would be restored by midnight or early Tuesday morning in those areas.

The mix of rain and snow was expected to change to snow in many areas before tapering off Tuesday morning, forecasters said.

Natalie Walters, 54, of Syracuse, said she was walking by her lilies and hydrangeas on Monday afternoon with her dog Homer, hoping the snow wouldn’t damage the buds. Still, she said, snowfall would mean a welcome delayed start to classes on Tuesday at the elementary school in Syracuse where she works as a teacher. But that would also mean less time to get through curriculum before the end of the academic year.

“The humor side of me is like, ‘Well, you know, it could just be another day off,’” said Ms. Walters, who felt confident she wouldn’t need the snow shovel she had already stored until next winter.

On Monday night, she was leaning toward wanting snow. That way, Ms. Walters said, she wouldn’t be standing outside in the rain on Tuesday morning, welcoming first graders walking off the bus.

New York City will be spared from snow, but the rain it saw Monday evening was expected to persist overnight, with wind gusts of up to 40 miles per hour, according to the forecast.

Mr. Hurley of the Weather Service said that as much as six inches of snow had been recorded in western Maryland and that parts of northern West Virginia received 3 to 5 inches.

Robert Deal, a meteorologist with the Weather Service in Binghamton, N.Y., said on Monday that the snow would be “more like cement and paste rather than the dry, fluffy stuff” and that in some areas it could fall at a rate of one to three inches per hour.

The snow “can quickly overwhelm the ability to treat roads, and it will also start to accumulate rapidly,” Mr. Deal said.

The state’s Department of Transportation said on Twitter that speed limits had been reduced on several roadways across the state because of the weather conditions. By Monday afternoon, the department had already reported several multivehicle crashes on Twitter.

In New York State, which was expected to get the brunt of the storm, snowfall of up to 11 inches is possible in some northern counties, according to the National Weather Service. Areas in higher elevations are more likely to have higher snowfall totals, while urban areas at lower elevations will see less, Mr. Deal said.

“I wouldn’t consider this to be a normal snowfall,” Mr. Deal said, noting its timing nearly a month after the start of spring. “That’s definitely reaching towards the higher end of totals.”

Dan Thompson, a meteorologist for the Weather Service in Albany, said that cities like Troy, Albany and Saratoga Springs would receive a thin coating of up to two inches of snow in some parts.

Forecasters said that high snowfall amounts and the rate at which the snow falls could create the potential for power failures in some areas.

“We’re looking at things and growing increasingly concerned about the impacts of power outages, with snow occurring this, kind of, late in the season,” Mr. Deal said. “It definitely looks like we could be seeing quite a bit of snow accumulating on trees and power lines, and potentially seeing numerous power outages in the higher elevation areas.”

In northwestern Massachusetts, the storm was expected to bring widespread rain and wet snow late on Monday night into Tuesday.

“It’s not going to be a winter storm for us,” said Alan Dunham, a meteorologist with the Weather Service in Boston.

Lily Chapman, a meteorologist for the Weather Service in Binghamton, said that snowstorms were not uncommon in April, but she added that people in the Northeast might not have an appetite for snow in the spring.

“After we’ve had such pretty nice weather, I think maybe people are probably not really in the mood at this point for it or ready to deal with it,” Ms. Chapman said. “Just be prepared to maybe have to shovel and for a sloppy commute, possibly.”

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