The monstrous storm that walloped much of the US this week has now brought nor’easter conditions as it moves across New York and New England ahead of the weekend.
After many in the South were left grappling with power outages and smashed homes and businesses from a string of tornadoes earlier this week, officials and forecasters across several Northeastern states are warning of heavy snow that could pile up to a foot Friday.
In response to the massive storm system, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul warned residents of the hazardous road conditions the storm is threatening to bring as millions across in the northeast are under winter weather alerts Friday.
“We urge everyone in the impacted regions to avoid unnecessary travel tonight and tomorrow,” Hochul said in a Thursday statement. “Work from home if possible, stay off the roads, and make sure you and your loved ones remain vigilant.”
In neighboring Pennsylvania, state transportation officials implored drivers to avoid unnecessary travel due to the low visibility caused by wind and heavy snow.
“Very heavy snowfall rates reaching 1 to 2 inches/hour will be likely across areas of interior New York and central New England,” the Weather Prediction Center at the National Weather Service said Thursday. “Dangerous travel conditions and scattered power outages are expected.”
Parts of eastern New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine can also see between 18 and 24 inches of snow accumulate in local areas, according to the weather service. Already, parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York have seen several inches of snow, with some areas catching up to six inches.
The unrelenting storm system has cut a dangerous cross-country path since the beginning of week, bringing varying combinations of severe weather to different parts of the US.
Tornadoes in the South killed three people in Louisiana while also flattening many homes and other structures. Blizzard conditions in the Upper Midwest brought piles of snow and fierce winds that tore down power lines, leaving tens of thousands in the dark in freezing temperatures the week before Christmas.
States from the Rockies to the Upper Midwest – including Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota and Wisconsin – saw more than a foot of snow this week.
Plus, dozens of tornadoes were reported across Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, Texas, Alabama, Georgia and Oklahoma since Tuesday. The deadly storms claimed the lives of three people in Louisiana.
And in parts of the Mid-Atlantic, the storm brought a quarter inch of ice was reported Thursday morning to the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia and Maryland, and about a tenth of an inch had built up in parts of Virginia.
More than 5 million people across portions of Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire are under winter storm warnings Friday.
Heavy wet snow is expected to bombard the region, making travel miserable this weekend, according to the National Weather Service.
“For the interior Northeast, precipitation tonight and Friday will fall as snow and become heavy at times,” the weather service said.
Snow totals between 6 and 12 inches are forecast from central Pennsylvania north into interior Upstate New York, with up to 2 feet at areas with higher elevations, through Saturday.
Plus, major cities, including New York and Boston, can expect 1 to 2 inches of heavy rain from the nor’easter into the weekend before the storm system pulls away from the region Sunday,
Some communities along the coasts of New Jersey and Delaware are under flood alerts, though severe flooding is not expected.
The storm inflicted a slew of tornadoes in the South and blizzard conditions in the Upper Midwest, leaving about 100,000 homes and businesses in the dark across Minnesota, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Virginia as well as Pennsylvania of early Friday, according to Poweroutage.us.
Powerful winds whirled by blizzard conditions knocked down power lines in the Upper Midwest as temperatures in some areas plummeted to near or below freezing, leaving thousands without proper heating.
Meanwhile in Louisiana, Yoshiko A. Smith, 30, and her 8-year-old son, Nikolus Little, were killed Tuesday when a tornado struck Caddo Parish and destroyed their home, local officials said.
The family’s bodies were found far from where their house once stood, officials said. Autopsies have been ordered for both, the county coronor said.
A 56-year-old woman died after a tornado hit her home in St. Charles Parish, the Louisiana Department of Health said Wednesday.
Another tornado in northern Louisiana traveled through the town of Farmerville was rated an EF-3, with 140 mph winds, according to the National Weather Service. At least 20 people were injured, and the tornado demolished parts of an apartment complex and a mobile home park, Farmerville Police Detective Cade Nolan said.
The tornado, which moved through Union Parish Tuesday evening, was 500 yards wide at its largest point and was on the ground for more than 9 miles.