Even though the two storms that pounded the Northeast and California with heavy snow, rain, and gale-force winds abated on Wednesday, flooding, power outages, and other problems with traffic continued to threaten both coasts.
Although most winter storm warnings were anticipated to be canceled throughout the day on Wednesday, both regions were bracing for additional snow, rain, and other inclement weather throughout the day.
At locations like Peterborough, New Hampshire, and Ashby, Massachusetts, where nearly 3 feet of heavy, wet snow fell, the dig-out process had started. The National Weather Service reported that at least 2 feet of snow fell in the Catskill Mountains and sections of northern New York.
The latest “atmospheric river” pounded regions of northern and central California, and those areas may experience more snow accumulations on Wednesday, according to the meteorological service. Ten atmospheric rivers, which are lengthy plumes of moisture from the Pacific Ocean, and strong storms powered by Arctic air that caused blizzard conditions have been aimed at California in recent months.
From the Sierra to the central/northern Rockies, “this intense storm is predicted to deliver heavy mountain snow and gusty winds,” weather service forecaster Paul Ziegenfelder warned on Wednesday.
Several of the hundreds of school districts that closed on Tuesday resumed on Wednesday, albeit on delayed schedules.
The three Northeast states that received 3 feet of snow were New York, Vermont, and Massachusetts.
After 15 inches of snow, an inflatable sports arena dome collapsed in Goffstown, New Hampshire. There were no early reports of injuries.
A barn collapsed at a dairy farm in Dracut, Massachusetts, killing several cows. Shaw Farm’s owners stated that no employees were injured.
Millions of people are without power; aviation traffic is improving
As of Wednesday afternoon, more than 170,000 households and businesses in New York and New England were still without power, and more than 180,000 in California were without power, most of them in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Unitil, which serves power and natural gas in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Maine, was bracing for a “multiday restoration effort,” according to spokesman Alec O’Meara.
Pacific Electric & Gas stated that “the most powerful section of the storm has mostly gone” in California. “Crews are working through difficult conditions to restore customers safely and efficiently.”
As the winter storm slammed the Northeast, nearly 2,000 flights were delayed or canceled at Boston Logan, LaGuardia, and Newark airports in New Jersey. More than 250 flights had been delayed or canceled at New York’s LaGuardia and Kennedy airports alone as of early Wednesday.
Californians are evacuated due to 70 mph winds
Due to the potential of flooding and landslides, nearly 27,000 Californians were required to leave Tuesday. Truckloads of stone were dragged by workers on the central coast against a backdrop of persistent rain and wind to plug a breached river levee. Windows were blown out by damaging winds with gusts surpassing 70 mph, and there were numerous reports of trees collapsing.
Alpine, Orange, and Trinity counties are the third set of counties that Governor Gavin Newsom has proclaimed a state of emergency for. After a slew of powerful winter storms hit the state last month, 40 counties already had a state of emergency proclaimed. President Joe Biden declared a presidential emergency last week at the request of California Governor Gavin Newsom, allowing the federal government to provide funding for state and local storm response efforts.
New York and New England are impacted by a winter storm
In Pennsylvania, New York, and areas of New England, where more snow accumulations of up to 10 inches were anticipated, a winter storm warning was canceled early on Wednesday. Up to 45 mph wind gusts were predicted for the area.
Travel in the area could still be challenging, the National Weather Service cautioned, and further power outages were anticipated due to the weight of the snow on the tree limbs. Officials suggested that if travelers must go, they should keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in their cars.
The amount of snowfall surprised some New Englanders: “It just snowed and snowed and snowed,” said Geoff Settles, a manufacturer’s supervisor who resides in Peterborough, New Hampshire. “My wife and I assisted in the digging out of some of the neighbors. We had to shovel five or six times to keep the snow from getting up to our chests.
The late 1970s saw blizzards in Leominster, Massachusetts, where Settles grew up. He declared on Wednesday, “I would say this is the most snow I’ve seen in my life.
The South gets hammered with freeze warnings and advisories
From Arkansas to the Carolinas, the Southeast saw freezing conditions on Wednesday morning. In several regions, further freezing weather was predicted for early Thursday.
In some areas of Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, a freeze warning was in effect for Thursday AM. The National Weather Service predicted once more that it will be in the middle to upper 20s.
What distinguishes a warning from a freeze watch? An official freeze watch is “issued when there is a potential for significant, widespread freezing temperatures,” according to the weather service. However, a freeze warning is issued when those conditions are “expected.”
California experiences flooding and snow
According to AccuWeather meteorologists, a storm that is generating an atmospheric river is moving through the state.
Through Wednesday night, more snow was anticipated in certain areas of the Golden State. In elevations higher than 6,000 feet in Western Plumas County and the adjacent areas, snow accumulations of up to 10 inches were likely; at elevations higher than 8,000 feet, the possibility of 20 inches of accumulation was present. Up to 70 mph winds are expected.
In some areas of Los Angeles County and other portions of Southern California, a flood watch was in place through midafternoon on Wednesday, and torrential rain could cause rivers and streams to overflow. As well as “severe street flooding,” mudslides and rockslides were both probable, according to the National Weather Service.