A rare October snowstorm bore down on the heavily populated U.S. Northeast on Saturday, knocking out power to a million customers, delaying flights and threatening some areas with up to a foot of snow.
By 2 p.m. EDT, New York City had broken an October snow record with 1.3 inches in Central Park, making this the snowiest October there since records began being kept in 1869, NBC New York reported.
Snow was coming down hard from central Pennsylvania to southeastern New York and Connecticut after hitting parts of Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland earlier in the day.
More than 1.1 million customers lost power in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey and Maryland, and utilities were bringing in crews from Ohio and Kentucky to help restore it. Officials had warned that the heavy, wet snow combined with fully leafed trees could lead to downed tree branches and power lines, resulting in power outages and blocked roads.
Delays were reported at Philadelphia International Airport and at New York area airports. At John F. Kennedy International Airport, some arrivals were delayed by more than four hours, and six hours at Newark Airport. One live flight tracking site, FlightAware, tweeted more than 1,000flights had been cancelled nationwide.
“It’s going to be wet, sticky and gloppy,” said NWS spokesman Chris Vaccaro. “It’s not going to be a dry, fluffy snow.”
Snow, snow and more
Communities inland are expected to get hit hardest by the storm. The heaviest snow was forecast for the Massachusetts Berkshires, the Litchfield Hills in northwestern Connecticut, southwestern New Hampshire and the southern Green Mountains.
Cherry Grove, W.Va., on the edge of the Monongahela National Forest, received at least 4 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service.
Relatively warm water temperatures along the Atlantic seaboard could keep the snowfall totals much lower along the coast and in cities such as Boston, National Weather Service meteorologist Bill Simpson said, with 3 inches of snowfall forecast along the I-95 corridor.
While October snow is not unprecedented, this storm could be record-setting in terms of snow totals.
October snowfall records could be broken in parts of southern New England, especially at higher elevations, National Weather Service meteorologist Bill Simpson said. The October record for southern New England is 7.5 inches in Worcester in 1979.Twitter