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Storm packing heavy snow hits U.S. Midwest, Northeast

By Victoria Cavaliere

NEW YORK Sat Dec 14, 2013 2:26pm EST

(Reuters) - Another round of wintry weather battered the U.S. Midwest and East Coast on Saturday as a massive storm spanning more than 1,000 miles dumped heavy snow, snarling air traffic and making roads treacherous for driving.

Airlines reported weather-related delays and cancellations, with major airports in Chicago, Washington, New York City and Newark, New Jersey, scrubbing dozens of flights, according to the Federal Aviation Administration and FlightStats.com.

The fast-moving snowstorm stretched from Missouri to Maine, as a steady rain fell in the southeastern states.

The storm will "produce a pretty good swath of snow over about a 24-hour period," said Brian Korty, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

The heaviest accumulation was expected in central Pennsylvania, New York state and interior New England, which could see between 4 and 8 inches of snow. Mountainous areas and parts of eastern Maine could be walloped by a foot of snow.

More than 110 million people across the Midwest and along the East Coast will be affected, said AccuWeather meteorologist Alex Sosnowski.

"Snow will fall on and impact every major city and rural area from St. Louis to Boston, including Chicago, Detroit, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and New York City," he said.

By midday on Saturday, areas of north-central Illinois reported 7 inches of snow over the past 24 hours, while the town of Warsaw, New York, near Lake Ontario, reported 21 inches, according to the National Weather Service.

Snow started falling early in Philadelphia, New York, and Boston, with the heaviest accumulations expected through the evening and overnight hours, forecasters said. Up to six inches of accumulation was expected in major cities on the East Coast, forecasters said.

The same region was slammed a week ago by another massive storm system that left parts of the Mid-Atlantic and East Coast shoveling out from a half-foot of snow.

Utility companies across the region put extra crews on duty and made preparations for possible outages.

New York City's Sanitation Department for a second Saturday issued a snow alert and was readying its fleet of some 365 salt spreaders, 282 front-end snow loaders and 1,800 plows.

The driving snow was a sobering reality check for an expected 35,000 pub crawlers dressed like Santa Claus, who came to New York for the annual SantaCon. The revelers wore Santa suits or red minidresses with white trim and nearly all had Kris Kringle hats topped with a white pom-pom.

The precipitation and freezing temperatures made roads and highways treacherous for drivers. Michigan State Police said they had handled 20 crashes since midnight, including one fatal accident.

The snowstorm comes on one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year during one of the shortest holiday buying seasons with only four weeks separating Thanksgiving and Christmas.

At a shopping mall north of Philadelphia, schoolteacher Amanda Nixon, 30, arrived early with her 9-year-old daughter hoping to get errands done before the snow picked up later in the day.

"We like the snow," she said, "We just don't like to drive in it."

Nixon said she thought other shoppers would put off holiday gift buying because of the second weekend of bad weather.

"I think a lot of people are nervous that this is going to be another big one," she said.

AccuWeather said the system was expected to move out of the area by Sunday, but slushy conditions could turn icy in frigid evening temperatures.

(Additional reporting by Dave Warner in Philadelphia. Editing by Barbara Goldberg, Vicki Allen and Gunna Dickson)

Join the discussion

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spike December 14 2013 at 7:54 PM

I moved from Pennsylvania to Florida over thirty years ago.Have not been back in a decade ,or longer..Used to be an avid skier .How I would love to be in snow like this ,one more time.The snow is the only thing I miss.

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jimharas December 14 2013 at 8:45 PM

Move to Tn

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5 replies
savutigal December 14 2013 at 8:53 PM

Hey, what about Ct.?

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2 replies
mebeandrea savutigal December 14 2013 at 9:12 PM

Who cares I am in NY.

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gerald01612 savutigal December 14 2013 at 9:32 PM

Just keep driiving slow in the left lane, you'll get through it.

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dquandle December 14 2013 at 9:00 PM

what winter is supposed to be

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1 reply
Sheila dquandle December 14 2013 at 9:09 PM

It isn't quite winter yet!

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2 replies
mebeandrea Sheila December 14 2013 at 9:11 PM

tell that to the weather.

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songbyrrd Sheila December 14 2013 at 11:45 PM

I suppose it's not December where you live. It's December here in Chicago.....WINTER!!!

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dcbeat December 14 2013 at 9:08 PM

If you like your man made global warming, you can keep your man made global warming. Period.

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1 reply
George Eighmey dcbeat December 14 2013 at 9:26 PM

The ignorance of some people, like you, is appalling. It is climate change and part of it includes global warming over a period of time. Short term weather extremes does not mean we are not experiencing climate change. The earth's temperature has dramatically increased on average over the past few decades; fastest than in the previous 500 years. Ninety-eight per-cent of the world's climatologists have said the change is here and will continue unless we stop polluting our earth.

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1 reply
sprmtnser George Eighmey December 14 2013 at 9:43 PM

and maybe its our time , the earth is just changing , a natural selection , our time is up , so arogant to think that you're such a supreme being , when its done its done

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Mark Mason December 15 2013 at 7:24 AM

It's December, snow happens

Flag Reply +4 rate up
ROBERT MARULLO December 15 2013 at 3:17 AM

Just a comment. It is so comical to read these comments about snow & ice. I left it all behind almost 50 years ago to move to Florida. One doesn't have to endure the cold north, unless they want to. But just like us here in sub tropical climate, we have to prepare for the hurricane season every year. So far we have been blessed with the last 6 years of only tropical depressions, (rain for a few days), but we MUST prepare. We cannot rely on the local for FEDS. Just remember what happened in Katrina. YOU have to prepare yourself. Up north, one must be sure to have food stocked to Winter Emergencies, batteries, fuel, wood, gas whatever it takes to get you through the first 48-72 hours. Don't worry about going outside, it's not safe......Stay home and be sure your home is safe. The rest will take care of itself in due time. Local government will not come and spoon feed you. If you are in that state of health and mind, have one of your loved ones get you out of there in the spring or summer into a climate where you won't freeze to death. No one has to endure that kind of weather, unless they want to. And if you do, count your blessings that you survive each year and move on. One doesn't have to be shopping in order to prepare for Christmas. Just keep the day in your heart and remember what Christmas is really all about. It's not Macy's and Nieman Marcus! They only want to tell you that to fatten their wallets. Put God first in everything you do each day, and He will take care of the rest. Merry Christmas everyone and a Happy and Healthy New Year!!!!!!!!!

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1 reply
proteus12544 ROBERT MARULLO December 15 2013 at 3:52 AM

Well said! I moved to Vermont from pa 20 yrs ago. Winter comes just after fall each and every year. We start prepping for winter near the end of august. Start stocking the pantry, have the snow blower and furnace service, make sure the shovels and roof rake do not need to be replaced and stocking lots and lots of batteries and other just in case things. If you live where you get even a little snow (because those places are the worst at getting roads clear etc) planning ahead just a little will go a long way. Merry Christmas and I hope you too have a Happy and Healthy New Year!

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Diane December 15 2013 at 7:22 AM

Went to a favorite park in Freehold, NJ. So much fun with my dog. Met another gentleman who had the same idea and we all frolicked in the snow and had the best time. Shopped, played, wrapped.
Perfect day!

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Isabel December 14 2013 at 9:21 PM

It christmas and nature snow.. NO BLIZZARD here nyc:) pretty... stay warm...

Flag Reply +1 rate up
heathrk100 December 15 2013 at 7:22 AM

We were supposed to get snow yesterday but it only rained :(

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