The Northeast is preparing for a major storm system that could bring snow that will be measured in feet instead of inches. But just because Florida isn't in the storm's path doesn't mean there won't be a local effect.
Parts of the Northeast were bracing Thursday for as much as 2 feet of snow combined with fierce winds that could top 60 mph as a major blizzard was expected. "It's absolutely going to be a bad storm," said Michael Schlacter, the chief meteorologist for New York weather consulting company Weather 2000. "It's a little bit of excitement in the local area because we haven't had something like this in two years." However, with the storm still some distance away, forecasters said predictions could change.
Officials stockpiled ice-fighting supplies and put additional crews on alert across the region, stretching from Pennsylvania through New Jersey and metropolitan New York, then up through Maine. The National Weather Service posted winter weather advisories across the area and a blizzard warning for the coast. In New York, utilities secured extra crews to help clean up storm damage.
history in the making?
The storm system is already being compared with the Blizzard of '78, when record snowfall killed 100, dumping 27.1 inches in Boston and 27.6 inches in Providence, R.I. Schlacter said that while this storm may bring as much snow as the Blizzard of 1978, it is unlikely to have the same effect.
closings and cancellations
Before the first snowflake had even fallen, Boston, Providence, R.I., Hartford, Conn., and other New England cities canceled school for today. The big storm also is already disrupting air travel, with over 2,100 flights canceled.