- The storm will hit parts of Kentucky, West Virginia and Maryland.
- It could generate powerful winds, bring in more moisture, and cause higher snow accumulations on its way to New England.
- Since Monday’s hurricane, power was out for more than 100,000 Virginia residences and businesses.
The East Coast braced Thursday for the second major snowstorm in five days. In the north, the country was hit with blinding winds, heavy snowfall and temperatures below zero.
AccuWeather senior meteorologist Joe Lundberg said a storm targeting much of the East should develop into the first bomb cyclone of 2022. A bomb cyclone is defined as a storm whose central pressure plummets 24 millibars in 24 hours. Lundberg stated that the storm could generate strong winds and pull in more moisture, driving higher snow amounts as it moves toward New England.
The East was being hit by snow from the lake, with New York already suffering. Buffalo had already picked up over 14 inches of snow by early afternoon, the National Weather Service said.
The National Weather Service tweeted that “Heavy snow at Buffalo’s airport this morning has established a record date.”
Nashville also saw snow in the South on Thursday. The National Weather Service tweeted that “Snow had spread throughout much of Middle Tennessee, Nashville Metro, and the travel is rapidly changing.” Sometimes, it could be as much as 1-2 inches an hour.
Thursday was the snowiest day in Nashville since Jan. 22, 2016, when 8 inches of snow fell in one day, according to AccuWeather. AccuWeather stated that 4 inches had fallen at the airport since midnight Thursday.
Tennessee officials urged citizens to limit their travels. Metro Nashville Police reports accidents, and other driving problems that slow down or snarl several roads. Police reported dozens of wrecks on the roads by early afternoon.
Authorities in Montgomery County, Tennessee were also dealing with numerous crashes along the Kentucky border. One of these was a collision involving an Interstate 24 commercial vehicle.
Schools around the region canceled classes, including a closure through Friday for Nashville’s public school students.
Some parts of Maryland and Virginia were still waiting for the storm to arrive, as it was expected to do so on Thursday afternoon or evening.
In and around Washington, D.C., where more than a foot of snow fell in some places Monday, up to 3 inches more snow was forecast Thursday night into Friday.
WHAT IS A BOMB-CYCLONE?:The weather phenomena is basically a winter storm
Officials from Virginia sought to assure the public on Thursday after being criticized for their handling of a severe snowstorm that hit earlier in this week, leaving hundreds of drivers stranded along Interstate 95 due to frigid temperatures.
Crews in Virginia worked through Tuesday to free up a roughly 50-mile traffic jam on I-95 that trapped scores of drivers in their cars for more than 24 hours. From Monday’s storm, more than 100,000 Virginia businesses and homes were without power on Thursday.
Governor Northam stated that “these back-to-back hurricanes will produce landmark winter weather, especially as many continue dealing with power outages.” Ralph Northam, who declared a state of emergency and has formally asked the Virginia National Guard for assistance ahead of the latest storm.
Northam also addressed the critics, asking why motorists were still on the road when they were warned to be safe.
Virginia lawmakers and local officials called on the AAA to take action. Stafford County Board of Supervisors Chair Crystal Vanuch, a Republican and lifelong county native, said Thursday that the gridlock was “probably the biggest disaster we’ve ever seen.”
According to Vanuch, the county’s emergency operations command received roughly 1,800 calls for service over a 24-hour period — more than five times the normal amount — and local emergency workers told her they weren’t getting the help they needed from state officials.
Northam, a Democrat who leaves office later this month, said in an uncharacteristically combative interview that he was “getting sick and tired of people talking about what went wrong.”
He said that no one had been injured, and that it was important to thank emergency personnel and first responders.
‘AN OUTRAGE’: Drivers were left on the I-95 for up to 24 hours and some overnight.
Up to a foot of snow could sweep across parts of Maine, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts, if the storm strengthens fast enough, AccuWeather said. Boston expected to receive 8 inches of snow.
“This will be a disruptive storm, and since cold air will be preceding the storm, snow will accumulate on roads as soon as it starts,” AccuWeather meteorologist Bernie Rayno said.
DEADLY TROPIC ISSUES CAUSED BY ICE: Virginia’s Gov. Northam declares a state of emergency
Lake-effect snow bands were already slamming Buffalo and surrounding areas of western New York on Thursday, producing snowfall rates of 1 to 2 inches per hour. On Interstate 90, dangerous driving conditions were created by gusty winds that reached up to 25 miles per hour.
The news wasn’t all bad, however: The storm presented a boon to the ski industry in West Virginia, where up to 8 inches of snow was forecast. Three of the state’s four major downhill ski resorts had suspended on-slope operations earlier this week because of warmer conditions. The activity is now picking up.
“West Virginia can’t wait to welcome travelers to our snow-capped mountains this winter,” said Chelsea Ruby, secretary of the state’s Department of Tourism.
In the Upper Midwest, portions of Michigan are still under one foot of snow. More is expected to fall on Friday. Minnesota and Wisconsin were expecting less snow, but wind chills of minus 25 to minus 35 will continue into Friday morning across much of the state, the weather service said.
Dangerously cold temperatures enveloping North Dakota have pushed wind chill readings down to minus 59 degrees in Bowbells, the county seat of Burke County in northwestern North Dakota.
And a powerful storm was pounding parts of Colorado on Thursday with what could reach 16 inches of snow, the National Weather Service said. In some areas, winds were gusting to 55 mph.
Contributing to The Associated Press