Snowfall picked up Monday in the U.S. Northeast as the region braced for a whopper of a storm that could dump well over 30 centimetres of snow in many areas, create blizzard-like conditions and cause travel problems for the next few days.
Lara Pagano, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service, said a nor’easter developing off the mid-Atlantic coast will be a “pretty slow mover” as it brings heavy snow and strong winds through Tuesday.
“It’s going to be a prolonged event,” Pagano said. “We have snow that had made its way across much of Pennsylvania and into southern portions of New York and into Connecticut and much of New Jersey.”
As of Monday morning, more than 15 cm of snow had been reported in parts of Pennsylvania, she said. In parts of New Jersey, nearly 18 cm had already been reported as of Monday morning.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Sunday declared a state of emergency in order to deploy resources. He also closed all state government offices for non-essential personnel and the state’s six mega-sites that distribute COVID-19 vaccines.
In New York, many vaccination appointments for Monday needed to be cancelled as well.
All New Jersey Transit trains and buses were suspended, except for the Atlantic City Rail Line. New York Waterway ferries were also suspended. Amtrak modified its train service, cancelling some trains.
In recent days, a storm system blanketed parts of the Midwest, with some areas getting the most snow in several years. Ohio, Washington, D.C., and parts of Virginia also received snow.
Snow and cold in Washington led President Joe Biden to postpone a visit to the State Department that had been planned for Monday. A White House official said Sunday night that the visit would be rescheduled for later in the week when the agency’s staff and diplomats could more safely commute to attend.