Frigid Canadian Air Keeps East Shivering and Snowy
Winter weather staged an April encore today in the East, shattering temperature records in 55 cities in 13 states and covering newly planted flower beds in New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey with up to 14 inches of snow.
Frigid Canadian air pushed temperatures into the 20s and 30s from Florida to Michigan, sending fruit growers scrambling to protect fragile blossoms from the withering cold.
“It’s like January here. Lucky us,” a police dispatcher in Oneonta, N.Y., said.
The mercury dropped to 18 in Alpena, Mich., the lowest reading nationwide, and 35 in Tallahassee, Fla., both records. Readings of 25 in Chicago and 23 in Detroit toppled century-old marks.
“When you get this late in the season, all storms like this are surprises because more often than not they fizzle out,” said Al Plytage, a weather service spokesman at Avoca, Pa. “Everything just came together for this one.”
Residents in southern New York state, northeast Pennsylvania and northern New Jersey woke to find snow. Tobyhanna, Pa., had 14 inches of snow and Walton, N.Y., nine inches, the National Weather Service said.
In New York City, snow mixed with rain slicked roads and snarled morning rush hour traffic with fender-benders.
“Everybody said they had trouble driving this morning,” said George Lambrinos, manager of a diner in Hackettstown, N.J., where five inches of snow fell. “You ought to see the looks on their faces.”
Many people, confident that they had seen the last of winter, returned to their closets for warm clothes.