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Sat 6:51pm: Fast-moving snowstorm begins trek into Northeast

December 14, 2013
The Associated Press , Tribune Chronicle |

HARRISBURG, Pa. - A fast-moving storm expected to drop a foot of snow or more in the Northeast over the weekend moved into the region today as road crews went on high alert and airlines began canceling flights.

Utilities braced for power outages, airports prepared for delays and local officials readied for slick roads while shoppers headed out to stores to tackle gift lists during a shorter-than-normal holiday shopping season.

The National Weather Service has said 6 to 12 inches of snow was expected in New England, with as much as 14 inches possible along the Maine coast. Areas north and west of New York City and central Pennsylvania could get 8 inches or more. About half a foot was forecast in parts of Ohio, where snow began falling overnight.

Hours before kickoff today at the Army-Navy football game in Philadelphia, accountant Kathy Porter hovered under layers of clothing in the stands, trying to keep warm amid low temperatures she doesn't get much of back home in Charlotte, N.C.

"We're just hoping for snow and not rain - I think we can handle the snow," Porter said. "I think we'll be OK. A little frozen but OK."

Airlines have canceled about 940 flights because of the storm, mostly in the Northeast and Midwest. Almost 350 flights into and out of Newark, N.J., have been canceled, and 172 at Chicago's O'Hare airport have been called off. ExpressJet and United have canceled the most flights so far.

Fact Box


TONIGHT: Snow, possibly mixed with rain and sleet before 10pm, then rain and snow between 10pm and midnight, then snow likely after midnight. Low around 26. Southeast wind 5 to 10 mph becoming light and variable. Chance of precipitation is 100%. Total nighttime snow and sleet accumulation of 1 to 2 inches possible.


A chance of snow showers. Cloudy, with a high near 27. West wind 14 to 16 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph. Chance of precipitation is 50%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.


A chance of snow showers. Cloudy, with a low around 9. Wind chill values as low as -5. West wind 13 to 18 mph, with gusts as high as 28 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.


A slight chance of snow showers before 1 p.m. Mostly cloudy, with a high near 21. Wind chill values as low as -5. Southwest wind around 11 mph. Chance of precipitation is 20%.

"It's a pretty bad day for Newark," said Mark Duell, a spokesman for FlightAware, a website that tracks commercial airlines. About 40 percent of Newark's 900 flights have been cut, he said.

If the weather gets much worse, American Airlines and Delta may be forced to cancel more flights in New York and Chicago, Duell said. Chicago was forecast to get 3 to 6 inches of snow by late this afternoon, while several towns in central Illinois had already received 8 inches.

But some areas, including resorts and ski towns in Northern New England, welcomed the snow and were eager to see the winter season get started.

"We have been watching (the forecast) since people first started talking about it on Monday or Tuesday," said Ethan Austin, spokesman for the Sugarloaf Ski Resort in Carrabassett Valley, Maine. "Right now it's setting up pretty well for us, so we're pretty psyched."



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