Winter weather hits both U.S. coasts; Sierra snow closes I-80; East Coast Storm until Monday

BOSTON — Winter weather lashed both U.S. coasts on Saturday, as New Englanders braced for an even more potent mix of snow and freezing rain over the weekend and a Sierra Nevada storm with heavy snow closed a stretch of highway and briefly knocked out power to tens of thousands people in Reno. , Nevada.

Winter storm warnings and warnings were in effect throughout the Northeast, and icy roads made for dangerous travel as far south as North Carolina.

The National Weather Service said it was a “major winter storm” that would continue into Sunday evening, bringing up to 12 inches of snow in parts of New England and pockets of rain/sleet in the central Appalachians.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul said she expected two-thirds of her state to get 8 inches of snow or more, “fortunately missing some of our more populated areas in the state, Long Island and New York City. ”

“If they get anything other than rain, it will only be a wintry mix of 1 to 2 inches, but in reality for our southern tier it will be… the first major snowstorm of the year and we'll be ready for,” she told Spectrum News.

In the West, a winter storm warning was in effect through Saturday night in the Sierra Nevada, from south of Yosemite National Park to north of Reno, where as much as 51 centimeters of snow could fall in the mountains, according to the weather service. around Lake Tahoe with wind gusts up to 100 miles per hour over mountain ridges.

The California Highway Patrol said numerous spinouts and collisions forced the temporary closure of I-80 for several hours from west of Truckee, California, to the state line west of Reno, where more than 27,000 homes were destroyed during the high winds briefly lost power in the afternoon.

By evening, fewer than 1,000 customers were without power and the interest's westbound lanes had reopened, but snow was steadily falling in Reno and CHP warned of possible closures overnight.

The weather service said the system would continue to bring heavy mountain snow and coastal rain overnight before moving into central and southern California and then into the southwest and southern Rockies.

The East Coast system was expected to track along the northeastern coastline through the weekend, with the heaviest snowfall expected in Pennsylvania, parts of the Hudson Valley and parts of New England.

In Massachusetts and parts of Rhode Island, the National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning from 4 p.m. Saturday to 1 a.m. Monday, with snow accumulations of 6 inches to 12 inches and wind gusts up to 6 inches. 35 mph (56 km/h).

The weather service forecast similar snow levels in parts of Maine and New Hampshire, with slightly less — 3 to 6 inches (7.6 to 15.2 centimeters) — in areas of Vermont.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said the city was preparing for the storm but did not expect it to be a major event. The timing of the snow meant it would likely have less impact on city life. Storm surges were also not expected.

Ice arrived early Saturday in some areas of western North Carolina and southern Virginia, ranging from a fine layer to about 6.4 millimeters. Watauga County, North Carolina saw some of the highest amounts, said meteorologist Dennis Sleighter of the National Weather Service office in Blacksburg, Virginia.

The National Weather Service in Mount Holly, New Jersey, said 6 to 12 inches (15.2 to 30.4 centimeters) of snow could fall in the southern Pocono Mountains and northern New Jersey, while smaller snow and sleet totals could occur in other areas turn into rain. cause some flooding. Forecasters also warned of dangerous sea conditions Saturday night with gusty winds and seas of 6 to 10 feet.

Forecasters also warned of another storm from Tuesday to Wednesday, which is expected to bring rain and some flooding, as well as high winds and coastal flooding.

Philadelphia has already reached 705 consecutive days with less than 0.64 inches of snow through Friday, surpassing the previous record of 661 days that ended on Dec. 15, 1973. New York City continued for 691 days through Friday, surpassing the previous record. record of 383 days ending March 21, 1998. Baltimore reached 707 days through Friday, beating the previous record of 672 days ending December 25, 2012.

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont says it has been about two years since a major storm hit the state.

“I think this storm has been a long time coming,” Lamont said.


Sonner reported from Reno, Nevada. Associated Press reporters Julie Walker in New York, Ron Todt in Philadelphia, Travis Loller in Nashville, Tenn., and Michael Sisak in New York contributed.