Late winter storm blasts South, Northeast with snow and wind
A late winter storm blasted the northeastern United States on Saturday with high winds and snow that could pile up to a foot high, sending temperatures plummeting and making travel hazardous after first taking aim at the Deep South.
The National Weather Service said 7 to 12 inches of snow could be expected in northern areas of Pennsylvania and New York with winds gusting as high as 45 mph. Philadelphia residents, while expecting only a few inches of snow, were warned that blizzard-like conditions were possible at one point, and later a flash freeze was possible with wet surfaces rapidly becoming icy due to plummeting temperatures.
Gale warnings were in effect in coastal New Jersey and Delaware, with gusts of 40 to 50 mph possible and forecasters warning of tree damage and resulting power outages as well as rough boating conditions. A wind advisory was in effect for other areas.
Meteorologist Andrew Orrison of the weather service office in College Park, Md., said moderate to heavy snow had fallen over “a rather large area” of the eastern United States, but the storm was moving quickly to the northeast.
Anxiety grows in Poland, where many fear Russia is on a dangerous expansionist path. History shows the Poles have every reason to be afraid.
Parts of the Tennessee Valley and central Appalachia had already seen as much as 8 to 12 inches of snow, and areas of Pennsylvania, New York and northern New England were expected to receive similar amounts before the storm pulled away early Sunday, he said. By Saturday afternoon, 10 inches of snow or more had been reported in parts of New York and northern Pennsylvania and as much as 6 inches in eastern Pennsylvania.
State police said Saturday afternoon that a crash involving 73 vehicles on a central Pennsylvania highway had resulted in multiple injuries, but none that were life-threatening were immediately reported. Trooper Megan Ammerman said the crash was reported shortly after 2 p.m. Saturday on State Highway 581 in Cumberland County.
The cause of the crash and other details weren’t immediately available. WCAU-TV reported temperatures in the area in the low to mid-20s, well below freezing, with winds gusting to 30 to 40 mph resulting in reduced visibility.
Utility company PPL reported more than 10,750 customers without power in eastern and central Pennsylvania by midafternoon Saturday, but that had dropped to 5,000 hours later. FirstEnergy reported 10,350 customer outages in Pennsylvania and New York, but that had been reduced to 7,650 later in the day.
The system also brought snow and rain to several Southern states, including Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana and Mississippi, on Friday and Saturday. Parts of northern Mississippi and portions of the Mississippi Delta also saw between 2 and 3.5 inches of snow.
Several inches of snow fell in eastern Tennessee, delaying by at least a day the season opening of Dollywood in Pigeon Forge. In Knoxville, the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade was canceled and several inches of snow in the middle of the state contributed to multiple crashes on interstate highways.
A number of St. Patrick’s Day parades were postponed elsewhere, including events scheduled in Albany, N.Y., and Erie and Scranton, Pa., as well as suburban Philadelphia. The parade scheduled Sunday in Philadelphia was still set to go on. The holiday officially falls on Thursday.
Must-read stories from the L.A. Times
Get the day's top news with our Today's Headlines newsletter, sent every weekday morning.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.