Northeast Winter Storm 2024: Impact, Snowfall, and Travel Advisories

A formidable winter storm swept through the northeastern United States on Saturday, delivering intense snowfall, freezing rain, and gusty winds that created perilous travel conditions. Winter storm warnings were in effect for nearly 20 million people from the northeastern U.S. to northern New Mexico and California.

Residents prepared for the storm by stocking up on snow removal supplies, while authorities strongly advised against unnecessary travel. For days, officials and forecasters had been cautioning about the potential for dangerous conditions, including heavy snow, freezing rain, or a combination of both.

The extent of snow and rain varied across the Northeast. Parts of Northeastern Pennsylvania and northwestern New Jersey received at least three inches of snow by Saturday night. The National Weather Service office in Mount Holly, N.J., anticipated snowfall rates of up to one inch per hour, with certain areas experiencing two inches per hour, particularly in the Lehigh Valley, southern Poconos in Pennsylvania, and Northern New Jersey.

As of 7 a.m. on Sunday, the National Weather Service office in New York reported two-tenths of an inch of snow in Central Park, while some suburbs accumulated four or more inches. New Jersey implemented restrictions on commercial vehicle travel on multiple highways from Saturday afternoon onwards. Governor Phil Murphy urged residents to stay home, especially overnight Saturday when the heaviest precipitation was expected, to facilitate snow plows and utility crews.

Governor Ned Lamont of Connecticut deployed "hundreds of plows" to clear roads and highways. In Rhode Island, where less snow was predicted, the state’s Office of Energy Resources closely monitored the storm’s impact on power and fuel supplies. Unitil, a natural gas and electricity company, advised customers to fill up their tanks and store three days’ worth of essentials per household member.

Looking ahead, the next storm system is anticipated to be stronger and warmer, intensifying over the Great Plains and affecting the East Coast from early to middle parts of the week. Excessive rainfall from Texas to the Northeast poses a significant flood risk, potentially washing away Sunday's snow with heavy rain by Wednesday. Forecasters also predicted substantial river flooding on Tuesday across Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., and Maryland, while powerful onshore winds may lead to coastal flooding along much of the East Coast, according to the Weather Service.

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