Snow, sleet and rain to hit Mid-Atlantic, Northeast
NEW YORK >> A grab bag of weather conditions — including snow and sleet — will descend on communities from the mid-Atlantic to the Northeast, but with many people off for Presidents' Day it may be just another day to hunker down.
After much of the northeastern United States experienced record cold on Valentine's Day, the National Weather Service said Monday would be snowy in many areas before sleet or freezing rain started and rain finally arrived.
Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser said she deployed the D.C. snow team Sunday ahead of the storm, which is expected to deliver a sloppy mix of snow, sleet and rain. One to 3 inches is forecast for Monday.
Outside the nation's capital, the Virginia Department of Transportation staged nearly 2,500 trucks to treat and clear roads.
Philadelphia also could see 1 to 3 inches of snow and New York City could get up to 4 inches before the transition to wet weather begins.
Meteorologist Bruce Sullivan said there could be significant snowfall — anywhere from 4 to 8 inches — in eastern Ohio, western Pennsylvania and western New York. Some mountainous areas such as in North Carolina could get even more snow.
The weather could have less impact because schools and many workplaces will be closed for the federal holiday and traffic should be lighter than usual.
By Tuesday, when temperatures increase, Sullivan said the rain and some runoff could cause flooding in some areas.
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 minus 12, also breaking records from 1979.
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.
The cold kept many people inside. In a New Jersey bagel shop that's usually brimming with customers on Sunday mornings, Joe Weir was among a small handful of people who sat drinking coffee.
"I just came from a church service, and it definitely wasn't as packed as it usually is," the 60-year-old Toms River man said. "We have a lot of elderly parishioners, and when the weather gets bad or real cold like this, a lot of them choose to stay in and watch a Mass on TV instead of going to church. Can't say I blame them."
But on Sunday, officials were only 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 at a news conference inside a lower Manhattan subway station.