NEW YORK (AP) —
A dangerous winter storm was bringing heavy snowfall, severe thunderstorms and high winds to the northeastern United States on a holiday Monday.
Canada also reported several centimeters of snow.
A foot (30 centimeters) of snow was forecast for parts of New England, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania through Tuesday morning, and more than 80,000 customers in the area were without power on Monday morning.
Forecasters in Buffalo, New York, said the snow was falling rapidly, dumping more than 16 inches (40 centimeters) by 8 a.m.
The city advised people not to travel unless they needed to on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, while some surrounding cities instituted a travel ban.
“WOW! (Last) snow measurement at 1 a.m. was 4.6 inches in the last hour at Buffalo Airport! Buffalo’s National Weather Service tweeted overnight.
“And tack another 4 inches in the final hour ending at 2am! Total so far since late Sunday night – 10.2 inches.
New York and Boston were spared the heaviest snowfall, which was accumulating at higher elevations in western Massachusetts, eastern Pennsylvania and parts of New England.
A severe thunderstorm warning remained in effect for New York City early Monday, and high winds made travel in the area hazardous.
“We had a very strong area of low pressure that kind of moved up the coast, with pretty heavy snow accumulations from Tennessee, North Carolina, all the way to the northeast,” said said meteorologist Marc Chenard at the weather service headquarters in College Park. , Maryland.
The highest snowfall amounts to date occurred in the mountains of North Carolina, at more than a foot, Chenard said.
“In the big cities – New York, Boston – it’s hot, it’s raining there,” he said.
Forecasters said wind gusts in New York could reach around 45 mph (72 km/h) and around 60 mph (97 km/h) in Long Island.
Sleet and rain were the main threats for much of Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Intermittent snowfall changed to rain overnight.
Severe thunderstorms in Florida caused a tornado with winds of 118 mph (190 km/h), destroying 30 mobile homes and damaging 51 others.
Three minor injuries were reported.
Wet roads in the South were expected to refreeze on Monday, creating freezing conditions for motorists.
Snowplow trucks were strewn along East Coast roads and highways, scrambling to clear the way for travelers.