Storm Crawls Into Midwest, Threatens Northeast
CHICAGO (AP) — A storm that gathered steam over the southern Rockies moved into the Midwest early Sunday and is expected to dump more than a foot of snow as it moves toward New England, which is still recovering from a winter walloping it received just a few days ago.
The weather may be bad news for those planning to drive to Super Bowl parties, as forecasters warn of hazardous driving conditions across the region.
Here’s the outlook:
A snowstorm that crawled into the Midwest early Sunday is expected to be the most widespread storm so far of the season. National Weather Service forecasters say it could dump a foot or more of snow as it moves from Nebraska to Maine.
It’s also forecast to be unusually slow-moving, meaning accumulations of between 10 to 14 inches of snow are possible for parts of northern Illinois, Indiana and northwest Ohio. Similar amounts of snow are expected for the Northeast on Monday.
“This is going to be a very high-impact storm for a large swath of the eastern half of the country,” National Weather Service meteorologist Ricky Castro said.
SUPER BOWL PARTY SPOILER?
The most intense period of snow in the Midwest is forecast to hit Sunday, right around game time, meaning the storm could make road conditions hazardous for people heading to Super Bowl parties. Potential wind gusts of up to 40 mph are expected, so drivers could face terrible visibility and snarling snow drifts.
The good news for game-day revelers living near public transportation in the Chicago area is that the storm isn’t expected to be rough enough to shut down train traffic.
Parts of New England are still recovering from a blizzard that threw down a record 34.5 inches of snow in the central Massachusetts city of Worcester, where dump trucks and front-end loaders had to be brought in to move snow.
The Monday and Tuesday storm hit Boston with 24 inches, and Providence, Rhode Island, had about 19 inches.
The National Weather Service said between 8 and 14 inches of snow could fall in parts of New England beginning around midnight Sunday, with up to 16 inches in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts and Connecticut’s Litchfield Hills. Southwestern Connecticut could see between 5 and 10 inches of snow and sleet.
Another foot or so could spell particular trouble for snow-clearing operations in Boston’s narrow streets.
SNOW PLOWS DESTROYED
The small town of Henniker, New Hampshire, will have to find a way to clear the snow without the majority of its plows. Nearly its entire fleet of snow-clearing equipment — five plows and a road grader — was destroyed in a fire on Friday night at a garage.
“This puts the town in a bad spot,” Henniker Fire Chief Steve Burritt told the Concord Monitor newspaper. “The town has a serious problem for snow removal. Not that there isn’t a solution, but it’s going to be a challenge.”
Investigators said the fire apparently originated in the engine of one of the dump trucks used as snow plows and spread. Officials estimate the damage could exceed $1 million.
The only heavy equipment spared — two pickup trucks and a front-end loader — was parked outside the garage. No injuries were reported.