Hexbyte Glen Cove Winter storm snarls travel, gives some schools the day off

Hexbyte Glen Cove

Snow covers a statue of composer and entertainer George M. Cohan, in New York’s Times Square, Friday, Jan. 7, 2022. A winter storm that has already left areas of the south with more than 6 inches of snow moved into the northeast during the morning commute and prompted many school districts to close for the day. Credit: AP Photo/Richard Drew

A winter storm that had already blanketed parts of the South in snow moved into the Northeast on Friday, snarling air travel, crushing morning commutes and giving hundreds of school districts struggling to keep kids in the classroom during a wave of new coronavirus cases an excuse to shut down for a one-day respite.

Schools in Boston closed, and Providence, Rhode Island, switched to distance learning, but New York City kept the nation’s largest public school system open.

“Children need to be in school. We don’t have any more days to waste” after the many closures and remote-learning days of the pandemic, said Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat dealing with his first major storm after taking office Saturday. He also noted that many children rely on in-school meals and that some working parents can’t stay home.

But there was a sense of relief for some educators.

Michael Gow, a middle school social studies teacher in Medfield, Massachusetts, called Friday a “snowvid day” and acknowledged it gave parents and teachers a reprieve from the daily dilemma of whether to continue with in-person instruction as the pandemic rages.

“This is a well deserved break for all of the teachers, staff, and students dealing with the surge of omicron,” Gow tweeted.

In central Pennsylvania, Ericka Weathers, a Penn State University education professor, scrambled to finish a fellowship application while her two kids were home from school because of the snow. She started working around 5:15 a.m. to try to ensure she’d have enough time to finish by the deadline Friday evening.

A woman walks through snow in Times Square, in New York, Friday, Jan. 7, 2022. A winter storm that has already left areas of the south with more than 6 inches of snow moved into the northeast during the morning commute and prompted many school districts to close for the day. Credit: AP Photo/Richard Drew

“I’ve been trying to juggle,” she said as her 7-year-old sledded on the hill outside and her 4-year-old didn’t want to go out. “Every five minutes, someone’s asking me a question.”

By midday on the East Coast, airlines had scrubbed more than 2,400 flights, with the largest numbers at airports in Boston and the New York City area, according to tracking service FlightAware.

Airlines have struggled with staffing shortages caused by an increase in COVID-19 cases driven by the highly contagious omicron variant. In the U.S., cancellations had eased a bit this week after peaking at more than 3,200 on Monday.

By midday Friday, some spots in New England including Danielson, Connecticut, Norwood, Massachusetts, and Burrillville, Rhode Island, had received well above a foot (30 centimeters) of snow, according to the National Weather Service.

A girls kicks at snow n New York’s Times Square, Friday, Jan. 7, 2022. A winter storm that has already left areas of the south with more than 6 inches of snow moved into the northeast during the morning commute and prompted many school districts to close for the day. Credit: AP Photo/Richard Drew

Drivers were urged to stay off the roads, but there were reports of crashes around the region.

Plow driver Michael D’Andrea got a firsthand look at the mess on the roads. He saw plenty of vehicles spin out as the thick snow fell.

“The first storm is always a bit more dangerous,” said D’Andrea, 34, of Norwood, Massachusetts. “No one has driven in this weather for like six months. People have to relearn how to drive in this. And it’s usually not a foot of snow the first one. This is almost a blizzard with how fast it came down. 2022 is off to a bang, but I suppose we were overdue.”

A driver died at about 7:30 a.m. when a car went off Route 140 in Freetown, Massachusetts, state police said.

A commuter bus spun out of control and blocked lanes on the Massachusetts Turnpike just outside Boston early Friday. No injuries were reported, but the bus caused a huge traffic jam.

A worker clears snow in New York’s Times Square, Friday, Jan. 7, 2022. A winter storm that has already left areas of the south with more than 6 inches of snow moved into the northeast during the morning commute and prompted many school districts to close for the day. Credit: AP Photo/Richard Drew

A tractor-trailer jackknifed in Greenwich, Connecticut, and forced a temporary closure of southbound Interstate 95, state police said. There were no indications of mass strandings on the major north-south thoroughfare, as happened after snow in Virginia earlier this week left hundreds of motorists marooned for hours.

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Thursday night declared a state of emergency and delayed opening state offices for nonessential employees until 11 a.m.

But the snow had ended by 10 a.m. in New Jersey, allowing plows to do their thing. Preliminary snowfall amounts showed 6 inches had fallen in Berlin, with 5 inches in Howell.

The National Weather Service said 5.5 inches (14 centimeters) of snow fell on New York City’s Central Park and 8.4 inches (21 centimeters) at LaGuardia Airport.

People pose for a photo with a snowman in New York’s Times Square, Friday, Jan. 7, 2022. A winter storm that has already left areas of the south with more than 6 inches of snow moved into the northeast during the morning commute and prompted many school districts to close for the day. Credit: AP Photo/Richard Drew

Snowfall totals were much more modest in northern New England, with about 4.5 inches (11 centimeters) in Nashua, New Hampshire, and about 3.5 inches (9 centimeters) in Hollis, Maine, by late morning, according to National Weather Service spotters.

The storm also affected coronavirus testing sites, many of which have been overwhelmed with long lines and waits for days. Some testing sites in Rhode Island delayed their openings until later in the day, when the storm was expected to start tapering off.

In Connecticut, most state-sponsored testing sites that are usually open on Fridays closed because of the storm, but some sites run locally and by pharmacies, remained open.

The storm brought record-setting snow to some areas of the South on Thursday.

Nashville saw 6.3 inches (16 centimeters) Thursday, shattering the city’s previous Jan. 6 record of 4 inches (10 centimeters), which had stood since 1977, the weather service said.

  • A lone pedestrian walks across the “Iroquois” installation during a snow day along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphia, Pa. Friday, Jan. 7, 2022. A winter storm that has already left areas of the South with more than 6 inches of snow moved into the Northeast during the morning commute and prompted many school districts to close for the day. Credit: Jose F. Moreno/The Philadelphia Inquirer via AP
  • A man takes a photo of a snowman in New York’s Times Square, Friday, Jan. 7, 2022. A winter storm that has already left areas of the south with more than 6 inches of snow moved into the northeast during the morning commute and prompted many school districts to close for the day. Credit: AP Photo/Richard Drew
  • Postman Josh Ashley fights the driving snow and cold weather, as he make his way up Main Street in Fairhaven, Mass., using a cart to deliver mail on Friday, Jan. 7, 2022. A winter storm that has already left areas of the South with more than 6 inches of snow moved into the Northeast during the morning commute and prompted many school districts to close for the day. Credit: Peter Pereira/The Standard-Times via AP
  • A US Postal Service carrier delivers a package during a snow storm Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, in East Derry, N.H. A winter storm is expected to drop about a half a foot of snow in the area. Credit: AP Photo/Charles Krupa
  • Wild turkeys tangle during a snow storm Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, in East Derry, N.H. A winter storm is expected to drop about a half a foot of snow in the area. Credit: AP Photo/Charles Krupa
  • A small truck removes snow from an unplowed road, Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, in East Derry, N.H. A winter storm is expected to drop about a half a foot of snow in the area. Credit: AP Photo/Charles Krupa
  • A person on a wheelchair uses the bike lane to navigate the snow covered streets in lower Manhattan, Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, in New York. A winter storm that has already left areas of the south with more than 6 inches of snow moved into the northeast during the morning commute and prompted many school districts to close for the day. Credit: AP Photo/Mary Altaffer
  • New York City Sanitation Department workers use a front-end loader to to fill a salt spreader at one of the Department’s salt sheds in lower Manhattan, Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, in New York. A winter storm that has already left areas of the south with more than 6 inches of snow moved into the northeast during the morning commute and prompted many school districts to close for the day. Credit: AP Photo/Mary Altaffer
  • Karen Axelrod, walks her dog, Mazie, as the snow falls on Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, in Brattleboro, Vt. Credit: Kristopher Radder/The Brattleboro Reformer via AP

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear closed state offices at noon Thursday and later extended the closure through Friday.

The largest snowfall in Kentucky was nearly 10 inches (25 centimeters) in Lexington, according to the weather service.



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Winter storm snarls travel, gives some schools the day off (2022, January 7)
retrieved 8 January 2022
from https://phys.org/news/2022-01-winter-storm-snarls-schools-day.html

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Hexbyte Glen Cove Deadly winter storm pushes into eastern US thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Deadly winter storm pushes into eastern US

Hexbyte Glen Cove

A man shovels snow in New York on February 18, 2021

A deadly winter weather system that brought record-busting cold to the southern and central United States, knocking out power for millions in oil-rich Texas, was blanketing the East Coast in snow Thursday, disrupting coronavirus vaccinations.

The historic frigid blast has over the past week seen Arctic cold envelope a US heartland unfamiliar with such extremes, leaving dozens of dead in its wake and several million Texans told to boil water before consuming it.

The National Weather Service (NWS) said a “major” winter storm would impact an area stretching from Virginia up to the Northeast, bringing icy buildups and “treacherous” travel conditions.

Snow fell steadily across New York City throughout the morning, forcing the cancelation of about 200 flights and delaying the opening of two COVID-19 vaccination sites after the storm disrupted dosage delivery.

By 1:00 pm (1800 GMT), meteorologists had recorded more than three inches (seven centimeters) of snow in Central Park.

The Big Apple has already been blanketed by the white stuff twice this winter during two separate storms.

“The occasional snowstorm is always good but as we’re getting closer to March it gets a little tiring. I’m ready for it to start being warm again,” said 18-year-old student Kara Dickson.

A resident in Waco, Texas clears snow as the oil-rich state struggles to cope with a historic cold snap

A weather warning was in effect in New Jersey, where Governor Phil Murphy announced the temporary closure of several vaccination sites.

“This may result in many appointments needing to be rescheduled,” he said.

Across Texas, which has been hardest hit by the cold snap, utility companies were gradually restoring power though more than 400,000 homes and businesses remained without electricity, according to PowerOutage.us.

‘Failed state’

Texas power companies had to implement rolling blackouts to avoid grids being overloaded as residents cranked up the heat. The surge in demand came just as generating capacity drooped thanks to power stations and wind turbines freezing.

David Hernandez, 38, spent the night at a Houston church with other people who had fled their homes.

“My car got stranded and I was trying to sleep in the car but it was just too cold,” Hernandez said.

Men are seen outside of the Lincoln Memorial under a blanket of light snow in Washington, DC on February 18, 2021

“Liquids in my car were actually turning to ice so it was like sleeping in an ice box. I had to come here,” he said.

Texas authorities opened about 300 emergency “warming centers” across the state.

Compounding the misery, thousands of Houston residents were also suffering a loss of water pressure.

Nearly seven million Texans were being advised to boil their water before drinking it or using it for cooking, said Toby Baker, who heads the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, adding that nearly 264,000 people were impacted by non-operational water systems.

Texas’s woes have sparked outrage in the Lone Star State, the only one of the US’s 48 continental states to have its own independent power grid.

Beto O’Rourke, a former Democratic presidential candidate from Texas, said it was at risk of becoming “a failed state.”

Anger soared Thursday after it was revealed Texas Senator Ted Cruz had flown to the Mexican holiday resort of Cancun during the crisis.

A woman poses in New York’s Times Square during a winter storm on February 18, 2021

As political rivals called for his resignation, Cruz justified the flight by saying his one-night stay was to drop his children off before he flew home.

Even though the Arctic air mass was beginning to loosen its grip in Texas and elsewhere in the south, the NWS said frigid temperatures would continue.

President Joe Biden ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts in Oklahoma after officials there declared an emergency.

Biden was forced to postpone until Friday a visit to the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing site in Kalamazoo, Michigan while federal government offices in Washington were closed Thursday.

More than 30 storm-related deaths have been reported by US media since the cold weather arrived last week, many in traffic accidents.

Animal deaths

Houston police said a woman and a girl died from carbon monoxide poisoning after sitting in a car in a garage with the engine running to keep warm.

More than 500,000 Texas homes and businesses remained without electricity Thursday morning

And emergency medical authorities around Texas said dozens of others have been treated for suspected carbon monoxide poisoning, while 77 were treated for hypothermia in northern Texas on Tuesday.

A dozen animals—including one 58-year-old female chimpanzee—died during the freeze at rescue sanctuary Primarily Primates near San Antonio, the organization said on its website.

The winter storm has spawned at least four tornadoes, according to Atlanta-based weather.com, including one in North Carolina on Monday that killed at least three people and injured 10.

Across the southern border, Mexican officials said six people died after temperatures plunged.



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Deadly winter storm blankets eastern US in snow (2021, February 18)
retrieved 19 February 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-02-deadly-winter-storm-eastern.html

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Hexbyte Glen Cove Average winter temperatures in Northeast have warmed by up to 4.8 degrees since 1970, new research shows thumbnail

Hexbyte Glen Cove Average winter temperatures in Northeast have warmed by up to 4.8 degrees since 1970, new research shows

Hexbyte Glen Cove

Credit: CC0 Public Domain

In the winter of 1969-70, Philadelphia had an average temperature of 30.3 degrees Fahrenheit. Last year, the average was 39.4.

No one says snow and cold spells are things of the past. But winters have warmed considerably since 1970 in the Northeast, according to data compiled by Climate Central, an organization of scientists and journalists that research and report on .

Overall, the group found that winter not only is warmer than it was 50 years ago, it is warming faster than any other season in 38 states, including Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Consider:

-In Philadelphia, Climate Central calculated that average winter temperatures have risen 4.8 degrees since 1970, and the season has 19 more days with above-normal temperatures.

-Atlantic City, New Jersey, winters have warmed 4.3 degrees with 14 more days above normal.

-Allentown, Pennsylvania, has warmed 3.8 degrees with 14 more days above normal.

To derive its findings, Climate Central used data from the Applied Climate Information System for 242 U.S. weather stations.

It calculated and days above normal in December, January and February 1969-70, and compared the same months through 2019-20. An above-normal winter day was defined as one with an average temperature above the 1981-2010 normal.

Of the meteorological stations, 98% saw an increase in average winter temperatures since 1970, with most warming 2 degrees or more.

Overall, average winter temperatures increased the most around the Great Lakes and Northeast region, as did the number of days with above-normal temperatures.

Sean Sublette, a meteorologist at Climate Central who lives in Bucks County, said the 50-year data show an undeniable warming in the Philadelphia region.

However, even going back 150 years, minimum winter temperatures were rising though not as quickly. Still, the data indicate a steady upward trend over time, he said.

“All these minimums here are going up,” Sublette said. “There’s been no going back down. You start seeing a very consistent rise about 50 years ago.”

He noted that temperatures are still rising even though the sun is currently in a less-active portion of its normal cycle. Low periods like we are now seeing should mean cooler temperatures.

However, Sublette said, the trend is still rising, which scientists attribute to climate change.

Warmer winters might be enjoyable for some, but they can have serious consequences for industries such as agriculture.

“Fruit trees,” Sublette said, “need to be chilled cold for a good part of the so they get those cues to come out of dormancy and produce flowers and fruit. If that doesn’t happen they get all messed up.”

Further, he said it’s also potentially damaging to plants when they flower prematurely in, say, a warm February, then refreeze in early March.

Though Sublette noted ski resorts such as those in the Poconos are trying to stay ahead by diversifying their offerings, it’s not true that warming always means less snow.

In fact, at times, warming can produce bigger snowfalls.

Sublette explained that the Northeast has seen some big snows in the last decade because warming has yielded more energy in the atmosphere to feed storms. Rising temperatures can still remain below freezing, setting the stage for a big Nor’easter.

Attempts to address climate change have been stalled since 2017 when President Donald Trump took office, pulled the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord and spent the remainder of his term rolling back more than 80 environmental regulations, according to the Harvard Law School. Other organizations list more than 100.

Some of those rollbacks were aimed at curbing emissions from carbon and methane, both of which are , from power plants, fracking operations, and auto emissions.

President-elect Joe Biden has named former U.S. Sen. John Kerry to a new post, special envoy for , and pledged to rejoin the Paris accord. But if Biden plans to undo the Trump administration’s work, it could take years on some of the regulations because of how government rules are set up and possible court challenges.



©2020 The Philadelphia Inquirer

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

Citation:
Average winter temperatures in Northeast have warmed by up to 4.8 degrees since 1970, new research shows (2020, November 29)

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