News & Politics

Snowpocalypse Now! Snowstorm Blankets Huge Swath of the Country

Texas, Kentucky and Ohio have a foot of snow already! New England? Fuhgeddaboudit!
Snow was falling from northern Texas to Connecticut on Thursday morning, as a storm system expected to badly affect travel stretched from northern Mexico to New England.

The storm is likely to hit some of the busiest travel corridors in the country, dumping snow from Washington DC to New York City, before moving off the coast Thursday evening.

 

The American south-east is already feeling the storm’s effects, as sleet and freezing rain fell overnight on Wednesday. Kentucky is expected to see some of the worst weather; cities such as Radcliff already reported 16in by 4am Thursday morning. Some parts of Scioto County in Ohio were also hard-hit, with 11in already on the ground.

 

Dallas saw one of its snowiest March days ever, with official totals at 6in. And sleet and freezing rain were moving from central Texas north-eastward to Arkansas on Thursday morning.

On Wednesday evening the storm had already produced rare bipartisan agreement in Washington, where lawmakers scrambled to get out of town before government offices closed for the day on Thursday, the Associated Press reported. Across the region hundreds of school districts, businesses and local governments also shut down. 

The storm is expected to move southward after it reaches the mid-Atlantic coast Thursday morning, the National Weather Service predicted. 

Tennessee escaped some of the worst predictions for the storm but cities such as Lebanon had about 0.10in of freezing rain, enough to make travel dangerous. The state’s legislature has closed for the day, and the governor preemptively declared a state of emergency. Legislatures were also closed in South Carolina and Kentucky.

Air travelers are likely to feel the storm’s effects before the worst hits on Thursday afternoon. Swaths of airports along the storm’s projected path have canceled flights, accounting for more than 2,600 flights across the country. Some airports had more than half of departing flights canceled.

Reagan international airport, which serves Washington DC, canceled 199 flights or 45% of travel scheduled for the day. The busy Dallas-Fort Worth airport canceled more than 300 flights, and airports in Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York and New Jersey had all canceled more than 25% of flights.

The storm is expected to move southward as it reaches the coast, until it becomes a light rain in Florida. 

Until then, the heaviest bands of snow are expected from south-eastern Kentucky into West Virginia, dumping up to 10in. 

Meanwhile the city of Boston already has seen 106in of snow this season. It needs two more to break its annual snowfall total from 1996, Reuters reported. 

 

 

Jessica Glenza is the Health reporter at the Guardian US. She tweets at @JessicaGlenza.

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