A new winter storm bought snow and dangerously high winds to New England for the fourth time in less than a month on Valentine’s Day.
The region has already seen more than 6 feet of snow in some areas.
A blizzard warning was in effect for coastal areas from Connecticut to Maine through February 16 in the morning, promising 8 to 14 inches in southern New England up to 2 feet in Maine. A bone-chilling blast of cold will follow, with lows of minus 10 degrees forecast in some areas Sunday night.
National Weather Service meteorologist William Babcock said road conditions will be dangerous as steady, widespread winds whip the relatively dry snow around.
“On Sunday, the best thing people can do is stay home, stay indoors,” he said.
Hesaid gusts could max out at 75 mph — hurricane territory — on Cape Cod. Officials warned of possible power outages, and north-facing or vulnerable coastal areas could suffer flooding and beach erosion, the National Weather Service said.
The bad weather spanned several states — winter storm warnings extended west into Michigan and Ohio, where whiteout conditions led to a pileup on the Ohio Turnpike that killed at least two people. Another crash involving several tractor-trailers was reported on Interstate 70 just west of Columbus, and a storm-related crash on the New York Thruway south of Buffalo killed one person.
In New England, transportation officials took many precautions. Boston’s Logan International Airport said more than 250 Sunday flights were already canceled, and none was scheduled Sunday morning. And the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority canceled all rail, bus and ferry service in the Boston area on February 15.
Gov. Charlie Baker urged drivers to stay off roads during the storm, but he stopped short of an outright travel ban.
Crews worked urgently to remove the massive amounts of snow that clogged streets and triggered numerous roof collapses.
Massachusetts called up hundreds of National Guard troops to assist with snow removal, and the Hanscom Air Force base outside Boston became a staging area for heavy equipment pouring in from eight other Northeast states to help in the effort.
In southern New Hampshire, where up to 18 inches of new snow could fall, employees at a tree service volunteered to clear the snow from the roof of Londonderry South Elementary School. With the weather promising to show little love on Valentine’s Day, Governor CharlieBaker on Friday proclaimed “Valentine’s Week” in Massachusetts and encouraged people to celebrate the holiday by buying gifts and dining out all next week.
Business groups said weather-related travel woes have cut into sales by up to 80% for some restaurants and retailers leading up to Valentine’s Day, a holiday that usually generates about $500 million in business.
The biggest snowstorm of this season is poised to hit NYC, Boston and Philadelphia over the weekend.
The storm could bring the first widespread heavy snowfall of the winter to the Interstate-95 Northeast corridor, the northern and western suburbs of the I-95 cities and parts of the Appalachians.
Even where moderate snowfall occurs or snow changes to rain, the storm can easily be the biggest snowstorm of the winter so far and bring substantial travel disruptions.
The storm responsible for spreading snow into New Mexico and Texas into Thursday will spread a swath of snow and rain to a large part of the East Friday night and Saturday.
How much snowfall versus rainfall will depend on the track of what will become a significant coastal storm.
Since the storm is still a couple of days away and the exact track is still somewhat uncertain, a shift in track farther to the east or west by as little as 50 miles could have a huge impact on snowfall accumulation.
People traveling to, from or through the I-81 and I-95 corridors on spanning Friday night into Saturday night should expect major delays due to rain in the South and snow or a wintry mix farther north.
Accumulating snow is most likely to fall from the mountains of western North Carolina, eastern Kentucky and western Virginia to southern and eastern Pennsylvania, northern New Jersey, the lower Hudson Valley of New York state and southeastern and central New England. Enough snow is likely to fall to shovel and plow in this area.
Included in the potential swath of accumulating snow is the Interstate-95 corridor from Washington, D.C., and Baltimore to Philadelphia, New York City and Boston. Even though rain could mix in over all or part of this zone, roads will be slippery during much of the storm. Airline delays are likely with the potential for cancellations.
Motorists should expect difficult travel in the I-81 swath from Virginia to Pennsylvania due to slippery and snow-covered roads.
How quickly the storm strengthens will determine how nasty the weather gets in New England. A full-fledged nor’easter or blizzard could hit part of New England with blowing and drifting snow, as well as the potential for damaging wind gusts and coastal flooding.
The storm will behave differently than the storm from last Saturday in that in most cases this will be a snow, rain or snow/rain mix, rather than an extended period of freezing rain. Some sleet can be mixed in as the storm transitions to rain in some coastal areas of the mid-Atlantic and New England.
Over much of the southern Atlantic Seaboard and the Piedmont areas of the Carolinas, enough rain can fall to cause urban flooding problems. Where heavy rain follows heavy snow, along part of the mid-Atlantic and southern New England coasts, there can be street and poor drainage area flooding.
Another storm with snow may swing from the Midwest to the coastal Northeast during the first part of next week.
The US Olympic Committee has selected Boston as its candidate city to host the 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Boston beat domestic competition from Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington DC to be put forward.
“Our goal is to host Olympic and Paralympic Games that are innovative, walkable and hospitable to all,” said Boston mayor Marty Walsh.
The deadline for cities to apply to host the 2024 Games is September 15.
The International Olympic Committee is due to make a decision in 2017.
The last time the USA hosted a summer games was in Atlanta in 1996, although Salt Lake City, Utah, hosted the Winter Olympics in 2002.
“I very much want to bring the games to the United States to share the incredible spirit of the games with another generation of Americans, and advance the Olympic and Paralympic movements,” said American IOC executive board member Anita DeFrantz.
The US is the third country after Germany and Italy to officially launch a bidding process.
At an IOC meeting in Monaco in December, a 40-point action plan was voted on to revamp the sporting showpiece.
Potential hosts will find it easier and cheaper to bid under the “Olympic Agenda 2020” reforms and events can be held outside the host country or city.
The 28-sport cap for future summer Olympics has been removed – although there will be no changes to the Rio 2016 schedule.
Instead of a 28-sport limit, each summer Games will be restricted to 10,500 athletes and 310 events.
Joggers took to the streets wearing almost nothing as they raced through Boston to raise money for children’s charities at the 13th annual Speedo Santa Run.
Runner braved the brisk winter temperatures in little more than their underwear.
Started 12 years ago amongst five friends in a bar, the run has exploded into a holiday tradition with hundreds of participants raising more than $1 million for children’s charities. One team of runners raised close to $20,000 alone.
Joggers took to the streets wearing almost nothing as they raced through Boston to raise money for children’s charities at the 13th annual Speedo Santa Run