A storm the National Weather Service called “potentially historic” was headed toward the US Northeast, where forecasters predicted it could dump 2 to 3 feet (60 to 90 centimetres) of snow from northern New Jersey to Connecticut.
A blizzard warning was issued for New York and Boston, and the National Weather Service said the massive storm would bring heavy snow and powerful winds starting Monday and into Tuesday.
“This could be a storm the likes of which we have never seen before,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said at a news conference Sunday.
De Blasio held up a piece of paper showing the city’s top 10 snowstorms and said this one could land at the top of a list that goes back to 1872. “Don’t underestimate this storm. Prepare for the worst,” he said as he urged residents to plan to leave work early Monday local time.
Boston is expected to get 18 to 24 inches (45 to 60 centimetres) of snow, and Philadelphia could see 14 to 18 inches (35 to 45 centimetres), the weather service said Sunday.
A weekend storm that had brought snow and slush to the Northeast — the first real snow of the season for many areas — was just a warm up.
The storm system driving out of the Midwest brought snow to Ohio on Sunday and was expected to ultimately spread from Washington, D.C., to Maine.
Lesser totals were forecast for the Washington area — a coating or a bit more — with steadily increasing amounts expected as the storm plods its way north. The storm promised treacherous travel by both land and air throughout the busy northeast corridor.
Preparations large and small were in effect elsewhere in New York. A Manhattan Home Depot store sold about twice as many shovels over the weekend as it normally does while transit officials hoping to keep the subways running smoothly planned to use modified subway cars loaded with de-icing fluid to spray the third rail that powers trains.
Farther north, a blizzard warning was issued for Boston from Monday night through early Wednesday. Wind gusts of 60 mph (96 kph) or more are possible on Cape Cod, forecasters said.
Wyatt Baars, manager of the Charlestown Ace Hardware in Boston, sold out of his bags of ice-melting pellets. But he said a New Hampshire distributor is helping him and delivering more.
“Everybody is preparing for the storm,” he said. “When we have something this big on the horizon, everybody comes in for the ice melt, snow shovels, snow brooms.”
– NZ Herald