After the coldest Valentine’s Day on record, a winter storm is sweeping from the Carolinas into the Northeast causing travel chaos.
The National Weather Service predicts a dangerous combination of snow, ice and rain will hit today bringing misery for those trying to get home on President’s Day.
More than 1,300 flights have already been canceled nationwide as of 3pm ET and another 6,000 delayed as the storm hits the mid-Atlantic and Northeast, according to FlightAware. While in Virginia alone, the Department of Transportation has staged nearly 2,500 trucks to treat and clear roads.
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Nearly 1,050 flights have already been canceled nationwide as of 2pm ET in the mid-Atlantic and Northeast (pictured is a snowy Presidents Day at Washington’s Ronald Reagan National Airport)
Traffic on south-bound I-81 lines up behind a trio of snow plows early Monday morning in Bristol, Virgi, as snow falls before turning to rain and sleet
A plane is de-iced on a snowy Presidents Day at Washington’s Ronald Reagan National Airport as the weather causes thousands of delays and cancellations across the country
Travelers were forced to wait for hours after thousands of delays and cancellations at the country’s airports (pictured is a long line for customer service at Washington’s Ronald Reagan National Airport on Monday)
Many states are already seeing snowfall with as much as four inches predicted to fall in New York City today, with a similar prediction for New Jersey while Philadelphia could see one to three inches.
But by this evening, much of the snowfall is expected to turn to sleet and freezing rain causing hazardous conditions on the roads.
‘It could be pretty tricky for the morning commute on Tuesday,’ National Weather Service meteorologist Patrick Burke said.
The New York City Emergency Management Department issued a travel advisory for Monday and Tuesday, warning residents about potentially slick roads and possible coastal flooding.
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said she deployed the D.C. snow team ahead of the storm, which is expected to dump up to five inches of the white stuff on the capital.
Meteorologist Bruce Sullivan said there could be significant snowfall — 4 to 8 inches — in eastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania and western New York. Some mountainous areas could get even more snow.
The weather could have less of an impact because schools and many workplaces will be closed for the federal holiday, and traffic should be lighter than usual.
Snow and sleet sweeping across mid-Atlantic predicted to cause misery at airports and for millions of drivers
After the coldest Valentine’s Day on record, the National Weather Service said it would be snowy in many areas before sleet or freezing rain started and rain finally arrived
Snow is predicted to fall on the East Coast in the next 24 hours – Philadelphia could see 1 to 3 inches of snow, and New York City could get up to 4 inches
The Trenton Makes The World Takes Bridge stretches over a frozen Delaware River, in Trenton, New Jersey on Monday when temperatures reached a snowy 27 degrees F
A New Jersey Transit train passes over a frozen Delaware River, in Trenton, New Jersey as forecasters say the state will see a mix of snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain on Monday
A pair of men tote groceries through the snow in Accomac, Va., on Monday when wintery weather conditions, including snow and sleet, will descend on communities from the Mid-Atlantic to the Northeast
Visitors to the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, walk down the front steps on a snowy Presidents Day holiday in the Nation’s Capital, Monday
Tourists from Arizona look up to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, as they are covered in a light dusting of snow
A worker with the National Park Service shovels snow from the Lincoln Memorial in Washington during the winter weather
By this evening, much of the snowfall is expected to turn to sleet and freezing rain causing hazardous conditions on the roads (snow is clared from the front of the Lincoln Memorial)
In Virginia, the state police asked motorists to delay any unnecessary travel until weather conditions could improve. Traffic crashes claimed at least one life, and nearly two dozen disabled vehicles were reported across Virginia.
In North Carolina, light freezing rain, sleet and snow caused wrecks and closed schools and businesses. The National Weather Service said the precipitation was light Monday morning, but with temperatures in the 20s, it was freezing immediately on bridges, roads and other surfaces.
After record-breaking cold, intensified by gusting winds, gripped the Northeast over the Presidents Day weekend, temperatures at the beginning of the work week on Tuesday were predicted to rise as high as 56 Fahrenheit (13 Celsius) in New York and 53F (12C) in Washington. Mild temperatures were expected to stretch into the weekend.
‘This system pushes the Arctic air out of here,’ Burke said.
Washington’s streets today were nearly empty because of the holiday and from the snow coming down in heavy, wet flakes. Neil Emery, 54, a tourist from Nassau, Bahamas, said he, his wife and daughter had been shocked by the bitter cold but were reveling in the snowfall.
‘It’s very Christmas-y, really,’ he said. The cold weather ‘is a good excuse for hot chocolates through the day.’
Flash flood warnings were issued for Monday for northern Mississippi, which was pounded by heavy rains that also drenched Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
A worker with the National Park Service clears snow from a walkway alone the Korean War Veterans Memorial in Washington on Monday where it is expected to snow up to five inches
Visitors gather as the snow covers the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington
Kennedy Marshall, 12; Christiana Wornum, 13; and Morgan Marshall, 8, careen down a 200-foot snow slide at Meridian Winter Blast in Detroit where snow and sleet are predicted to fall later this afternoon
Sarah Countiss, 14, wipes out while sledding Monday afternoon in Bristol, Virginia – where the state police have asked motorists to delay any unnecessary travel until weather conditions could improve
Catherine Guinn pulls her son Jacob on his sled in their driveway in Accomac, Virginia to make the best of the snow before it turns to slush over the next 24 hours
Freezing temperatures have been replaces with snow and sleet (pictured is Winchester, Virginia where an inch of snow fell overnight Sunday)
Not everyone is dreading the snowfall. Siblings Henry, 8, and Iris Moody, 12, using the drift to work on a snowman outside their house in Bristol, Virginia
The vast storm stretched to western parts of Pennsylvania and New York, where Buffalo was expected to get more than 12 inches (30 cm) of snow.
New England ski resorts, struggling through a relatively warm and snowless winter, may receive up to 5 inches (13 cm) of snow, meteorologist Burke said.
Sunday’s teeth-chattering temperatures were some of the coldest on record.
From New York and Boston to Providence, Rhode Island, and Hartford, Connecticut, temperatures on Sunday morning dipped to as low as minus 40 — on Mount Washington in New Hampshire.
The National Weather Service said the temperature in New York City’s Central Park fell to minus 1, a record low for the date. The last time it was below zero in Central Park was in January 1994.
Boston reached minus 9, breaking the record set in 1934 by 6 degrees. It reached minus 16 in Worcester, Massachusetts, breaking the 1979 record of 11 below zero. Providence hit minus 9 and Hartford reached minus 12, also breaking records from 1979.
Kevin Taylor, a 49-year-old native of Massachusetts living on the street in Harvard Square, outside Boston, said he had coped with the cold on his own.
‘I got a sleeping bag sized tent that protects me from wind and snow. I got a zero degree sleeping bag and fleece blankets,’ Taylor said. ‘I was born and raised in New England. I’m used to this. It’ll start breaking tomorrow.’
Others were forced to re-think their Valentine’s Day plans.
The Weather Channel reports that tonight the snow will turn to sleet or rain in many parts of the country
Tomorrow is predicted to be wetter with rain forecast down the East Coast while the South will appears to be sunny
New Yorkers braced themselves against the cold yesterday as temperatures plummeted below freezing on Valentine’s Day
A fountain froze over in Bryant Park yesterday as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told city residents to stay indoors and to be careful of the cold
The mayhem (pictured) came as the north east was hit by an arctic blast freezing temperatures and biting wind chill struck
A huge 50-car pile-up shut down a highway near Fredericksburg, Pennsylvania, after a ‘total whiteout’ and severe winds caused drivers to lose control of their vehicles
In Cambridge, Massachusetts, Kristen Carlson, 25 and her boyfriend Ross Crory, also 25, were adapting their Valentine’s Day plans.
‘We’re going to brunch,’ Carlson said. ‘We’re going rock climbing later. Indoor activities. Tonight we’re staying in and cooking dinner.’
In Montpelier, Vermont, the overnight temperature hit minus 19, tying a record set in 2003. And South Lincoln, Vermont, recorded 27 below zero.
Temperatures were so low in some spots, utilities were knocked out. A frozen regulator left about 400 customers in Connecticut without natural gas service, and officials believe extreme cold in Vermont broke a utility pole, knocking out service to about 1,500.
An emergency generator didn’t kick in for Sheffield Selectboard Chairman Walter Smith, who said he lost a greenhouse full of about 500 orchids.
‘I’ve got it working now, but it’s too late,’ he said.
On Sunday, officials were concerned by the cold they said was dangerous and could be fatal to those spending too much time outdoors — especially the homeless.
Outreach teams brought 105 people into New York shelters, and 288 showed up at hospitals and health facilities, including more than 20 who were brought in for care needed immediately, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
In Washington, DC, where temperatures hit a milder 14 degrees on Sunday, people gathered for the city’s annual Cupid’s Undie Run to raise money for charity on Saturday, when temperatures hit 20 degrees.