Tag Archive: Northeast


Business Insider

US Northeast Struggles To Handle Latest Series Of Storms

nyc slush snow february

AP

BOSTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – The latest in a rapid succession of brutal winter storms hit the United States on Wednesday, cutting power to over a million homes and businesses and playing havoc with road and air transport links.The snow and ice storms in the country’s Northeast triggered states of emergency in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and some districts reported stocks of the salt used to keep roads ice-free were running low.

The hardest-hit state was Pennsylvania, where 849,000 customers were without electricity at one point, according to the governor. By 8 p.m. local time (0100 GMT Thursday), the figure was just over 625,000, said Cory Angell, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.

In all, over a million Northeast homes and businesses were cut off, according to local power companies.

Throughout the United States, 2,893 flights were canceled on Wednesday, according to FlightAware.com, an online flight tracking site.

In the Northeast, roughly half the departing flights were canceled out of Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia inNew York and Boston’s Logan International, FlightAware said.

Snow continued to fall in patches along the East Coast, but by early on Thursday the storm looked to have largely run its course, a forecaster at the National Weather Service said.

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Image:  A plow cleans up North Ave. in Garwood, N.J.

John Makely / NBC News 2 days

Deep Freeze

Pinched: Salt Shortage Leads to Dangerously Slippery Streets

As if traffic snarls, scrubbed flights and power outages weren’t enough misery, the latest bit of winter savagery to hit the Midwest and the East is an extreme shortage of the salt used to clear snow and ice off roadways.

Many cities have been forced to ration salt after weeks of above-average snowfall and bone-chilling temperatures have nearly depleted their stockpiles.

That’s left many streets treacherously slippery, putting motorists, their passengers and pedestrians at risk.

By the end of January, for instance, the Pennsylvania Transportation Department had burned through 686,000 tons of salt — upwards of 200,000 tons more than used during an average year, according to the Associated Press.

In Illinois, Chicago’s supply is holding up, but the suburbs are hurting.

“If we don’t get the salt, at some point people are going to be sliding all over the place like what you saw in Atlanta,” Julius Hansen, the public works director in the Chicago suburb of Glen Ellyn, told the AP, referencing the motorists stranded in the South last week.

Salt producers in Kansas and elsewhere said they were out of rock salt or close to it.

Officials in New York and New Jersey also warned they were running short of the rock salt.

New York City has spread some 346,000 tons of rock salt on its roads so far this year, about the total for all of last winter, Belinda Mager, a spokeswoman for the city Department of Sanitation said.

The rapidly shrinking supply of salt has sent prices skyrocketing as officials stretch resources thin and scramble to find alternatives — like the processed sugar beet molasses being tested in Pennsylvania’s Butler County.

Store owners, too, are getting squeezed.

“I have people calling from all parts of the East Coast looking for it, and we just have nothing.”

“We’re just continuing to get crushed by these storms. With major rock salt shortages, it’s starting to get scary out there,” Anthony Scorzetti, a hardware and paint manager for Braen Supply in Wanaque, New Jersey, told Reuters.

“I have people calling from all parts of the East Coast looking for it, and we just have nothing.”

Some 77 million Americans were under storm warnings and hundreds of thousands were without power Wednesday as the winter blast that wreaked havoc across the nation’s midsection roared into the Northeast.

“The worst will be along the higher terrain, around central New England,” said Benjamin Sipprell, a National Weather Service meteorologist. “Southern parts of Vermont and New Hampshire around the border with Massachusetts could see up to around a foot of snow.”

The onslaught of ice dragged down power lines. More than 849,000 people were without power in eastern and central Pennsylvania at one point, prompting the governor to declare an emergency. Crews managed to cut that down to 625,000 by Wednesday night.

In New Jersey, where Gov. Chris Christie ordered a state of emergency, the state’s largest utility PSE&G reported about 9,000 customers without power Wednesday night, down from about 75,000 outages.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy called on residents to stay off roads. Parts of the state have reported 10 inches or more of snow.

“With heavy snow falling across the state and a mix of sleet and freezing rain on the way, I am asking residents to avoid unnecessary travel,” Malloy said. “If you can stay home or work from home, please do.”

In Connecticut, more than 300 traffic accidents were reported on major roadways and side streets on Wednesday.

“Everyone was skidding all over the place,” Bruce Small, 58, an aircraft mechanic from Millford told Reuters.

More than 2,500 flights across the country were canceled, with airports and passengers in New York, Boston and Chicago bearing the brunt. Most of the flights not scrubbed were experiencing delays.

Commuters across the region creeped to work. Making matters worse, a “significant” power outage crippled service on at least three major subways lines in New York City during the early morning commute — including at Times Square, the busiest station in the busiest subway system in the country. By the end of the morning rush, the issue had been fixed, city officials said.

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NBC U.S. news

Salt in the Wound: Rugged Winter Drains Road Budgets, Supplies

As storm after ferocious storm wallops the country this winter, many cities have been forced to ration resources amid a shortage of the road salt used to melt snow.

Many communities from the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic that have already been pounded by above-average snowfall and bone-chilling temperatures have nearly depleted their supply of salt, leaving streets treacherously slippery.

By the end of January, for instance, the Pennsylvania Transportation Department had burned through 686,000 tons of salt — upwards of 200,000 tons more than used during an average year, according to the Associated Press.

In Illinois, Chicago’s supply is holding up, but the suburbs are hurting.

“If we don’t get the salt, at some point people are going to be sliding all over the place like what you saw in Atlanta,” Julius Hansen, the public works director in the Chicago suburb of Glen Ellyn, told the AP, referencing the motorists stranded in the South last week.

The rapidly shrinking supply of salt has sent prices skyrocketing as officials stretch resources thin and scramble to find alternatives — like the processed sugar beet molasses being tested in Pennsylvania’s Butler County.

Store owners, too, are getting squeezed. “We’re just continuing to get crushed by these storms. With major rock salt shortages, it’s starting to get scary out there,” Anthony Scorzetti, a hardware and paint manager for Braen Supply in Wanaque, New Jersey, told Reuters.

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Storm cuts power, snarls traffic as ice grips Pa.

By RON TODT and MARK SCOLFORO, Associated Press : February 5, 2014 : Updated: February 5, 2014 4:06pm

Photo By Matt Rourke/AP
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A downed tree covered in ice lays atop a minivan after a winter storm Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, in Philadelphia. Icy conditions have knocked out power to more than 200,000 electric customers in southeastern Pennsylvania and prompted school and legislative delays as well as speed reductions on major roadways.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A coating of ice and slush took down power lines and trees, closed schools and snarled traffic in Pennsylvania on Wednesday, the latest insult in what has been a long winter of weather-related injury.

About 750,000 customers were without power, Gov. Tom Corbett said in a briefing in the headquarters of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency outside Harrisburg.

“People are going to have to have some patience at this point,” Corbett said, warning that an overnight refreeze could cause more problems on the roads Thursday.

PECO, which was working to restore power to more than 500,000 customers Wednesday afternoon, warned that it could take until the weekend for some people get their electricity back.

The storm piled up to a foot of new powder along the state’s northern tier and coated the southeastern quadrant with a layer of ice that gave trees a picturesque, frosty sheen but brought down limbs and trees from Gettysburg to Philadelphia.

Long stretches of the Pennsylvania Turnpike were under speed and trailer restrictions all morning, but those rules were lifted as the weather warmed and some melting began.

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WTVM.COM

Lights out for 1M as winter storm slams Northeast

Posted: Feb 04, 2014 11:30 PM CST Updated: Feb 05, 2014 3:52 PM CST

By The Associated Press

Winter-weary residents of the Northeast contended with another dose of snow, sleet and freezing rain Wednesday. The second winter storm of the week canceled classes, closed government and business offices, and caused more than 1 million power outages across the region after wreaking similar havoc in the Midwest on Tuesday. Around a foot of snow fell in some states. Combined with freezing rain and sleet, the snow made driving treacherous. The storm was the second go-round for the Northeast since a good coating of snow fell Monday.

PENNSYLVANIA

Ice and snow brought down trees and limbs and knocked out power to some 750,000 customers. Most of the outages were in the Philadelphia suburbs, and PECO, the major utility company, warned it could be the weekend before some people get their lights back on. The Pennsylvania Turnpike was closed around Harrisburg, the state capital, for more than 13 hours after a fatal crash Tuesday night. The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Administration reported delays and some cancellations on suburban Philadelphia routes, while Amtrak suspended its Philadelphia-to-Harrisburg service indefinitely because of downed trees on wires and along tracks. Many schools were closed.

NEW YORK

Up to a foot of snow fell in places upstate; hundreds of schools upstate were closed. Four inches of snow and a quarter-inch of ice covered New York City. The state deployed 3,500 tons of stockpiled road salt to New York City, where supplies were running low, while plows and other heavy equipment aimed to keep roads clear. A 65-mile stretch of Interstate 84 between the Pennsylvania and Connecticut borders was closed to all vehicles until mid-afternoon. The Metropolitan Transit Authority said Metro-North Railroad service was reduced by 18 percent on morning trains.

NEW JERSEY

Gov. Chris Christie declared a state of emergency and state offices were closed for non-essential employees, as the state got snow in northern parts, sleet and freezing rain in some areas, and all rain in southern counties. Tens of thousands of customers were without power, and schools were closed or delayed. NJ Transit operated on a storm schedule. Buses and trains were cross-honoring tickets.

MICHIGAN

The state received more than 6 inches of snow in some areas, snarling traffic and keeping towing operators busy. AAA Michigan got at least 1,100 calls for service Wednesday morning. Authorities reported several multi-vehicle crashes after snow fell along Interstate 94 in the Jackson area; traffic accidents closed parts of Interstate 69 around Flint. The storm also snarled traffic in southern Michigan, including Detroit. Two planes became stuck on taxiways at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, requiring trucks to push or pull the regional Delta jets to free them.

OHIO

Most of Ohio was hit with heavy snow and freezing rain, closing hundreds schools and creating extremely hazardous driving conditions. Four to 8 inches of snow fell overnight Tuesday. Many counties declared snow emergencies. “I wish that groundhog would have stayed in its hole,” said Geoff Dunn, who took the bus to his downtown Columbus office. “Finding us six more weeks of winter was not the smart move.” The National Weather Service said most Ohio cities already have seen anywhere from 15 to 30 inches more snow than is normal at this stage of winter because of the frequent winter storms.

ILLINOIS

A Chicago runner was credited with helping save a man who fell into icy Lake Michigan with his dog. Adam Dominik says he found twine and anchored it around himself while throwing the other end in the water, pulling the man onto nearby rocks. Meanwhile, a skier called 911. Rescuers pulled the man the rest of the way to safety. He was taken to a hospital. Both he and his dog were expected to recover.

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kvue.com

Snow heads back to Northeast after Midwest slammed

Snow heads back to Northeast after Midwest slammed

Credit: AP

U.S. Parks Service employee Danny Merced clears snow from the steps of Federal Hall, in New York’s Financial District, Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014. New York City’s sanitation commissioner says some secondary streets still need plowing but overall snow removal was going well. Around 6 inches of snow are expected in parts of the metropolitan area on Wednesday. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

by Associated Press

kvue.com

Posted on February 5, 2014 at 1:22 PM

Winter-weary residents of the Northeast are getting another dose of snow, sleet and freezing rain. The second winter storm of the week is canceling classes, closing government and business offices, and causing hundreds of thousands of power outages across the region after wreaking similar havoc in the Midwest on Tuesday. Anywhere from a few inches to a foot or more of snow was expected to fall Wednesday on East Coast states, while some were getting freezing rain and sleet that made driving treacherous. It’s their second go-round since a good coating of snow fell on Monday.

PENNSYLVANIA

Icy conditions knocked out power to about 750,000 customers in eastern and central Pennsylvania and caused school and legislative delays as well as speed reductions on major roadways. Falling trees became a hazard for motorists.

The great bulk of the outages were in the five-county Philadelphia region, most of them in the suburbs.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike canceled a temporary speed limit of 45 mph and its ban on empty tractor-trailers. The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation also dropped speed limits to 45 mph on a number of roads.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Administration reported delays and some cancellations on suburban Philadelphia routes, while Amtrak suspended its Philadelphia-to-Harrisburg service because of downed trees on wires and along tracks.

NEW YORK

New York state deployed more than 2,000 plows and other pieces of heavy equipment to keep roads clear during a storm that has forced the closure of one major highway and hundreds of schools upstate. Up to a foot of snow fell in some upstate areas, while lesser amounts and a coating of ice were expected in New York City.

A 65-mile stretch of Interstate 84 between the Pennsylvania and Connecticut borders was closed to all vehicles.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority says Metro-North Railroad service was reduced by 18 percent on morning trains.

NEW JERSEY

Gov. Chris Christie declared a state of emergency and state offices were closed for non-essential employees, as the state got snow in northern parts, sleet and freezing rain in some areas, and all rain in southern counties. Tens of thousands of customers were without power, and schools were closed or delayed.

NJ Transit was operating on a storm schedule. Buses and trains were cross-honoring tickets.

MICHIGAN

AAA Michigan got at least 1,100 calls for service as of Wednesday morning, with the heaviest volume during the rush-hour commute.

Authorities reported several multi-vehicle crashes after several inches of snow along Interstate 94 in the Jackson area, including some with injuries, and crashes closed portions of Interstate 69 in the Flint area.

The storm also snarled traffic in southern Michigan, including the Detroit area, with accidents reported in Grand Rapids and Saginaw.

Two planes became stuck on taxiways at snowy Detroit Metropolitan Airport, requiring trucks to push or pull the regional Delta jets out of the snow.

OHIO

Most of Ohio was hit with another bout or heavy snow and freezing rain, closing hundreds schools and creating extremely hazardous driving conditions.

Much of the state was slammed with 4 to 8 inches of snow overnight. Many counties declared snow emergencies.

“I wish that groundhog would have stayed in its hole,” said Geoff Dunn, who took the bus to his downtown Columbus office, avoiding the messy roads but still having to navigate snowy sidewalks. “Finding us six more weeks of winter was not the smart move.”

The National Weather Service said most Ohio cities already have seen anywhere from 15 to 30 inches more snow than is normal at this stage of winter in about 10 significant storms.

ILLINOIS

A Chicago runner was credited with helping save a man who fell into icy Lake Michigan with his dog.

Adam Dominik says he found twine and anchored it around himself while throwing the other end in the water, pulling the man onto nearby rocks. Meanwhile, a skier called 911.

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NBC News

One down: First storm of week dumps snow, two more expected

Bebeto Matthews / AP

A snow plow waits for a vehicle to move out of its parking spot in Brooklyn’s Flatbush neighborhood on Monday Feb. 3, 2014 in New York.

The first of three storm systems expected to pound wide swaths of the country over the next week was leaving the Northeast on Monday night after dumping several inches of thick snow, snarling traffic, and shuttering schools.

Fat flakes turned the streets of Philadelphia and New York into a sea of slush, casting a pall over morning commutes just one day after the Seahawks trounced the Broncos amid unseasonably balmy East Coast weather in the 50s.

Hopeful passengers are settling in for extended delays, as flight disruptions are slated to cost $2.5 billion.

At least two deaths and one serious injury could be blamed the storm and its clean up: In western Kentucky, where the snow began to fall Sunday, a 24-year-old man died after his car skidded into a snowplow, officials told NBC affiliate WFIE. And in New York, a 73-year-old man was struck and killed by a snowplow that was backing up on a Brooklyn street, police told NBC New York.

Meanwhile, a 10-year-old girl remained in serious condition Monday evening after she was impaled in the back by a metal rod while sledding north of Baltimore, Md., the AP reported.

The storm was slowly moving out over the Atlantic Ocean Monday afternoon — leaving room for another wild system that forecasters expect will swing in from the Plains with ice, snow and freezing rain on Tuesday evening.

“Across the U.S. we’re going to have a very snowy situation, with at least three winter storms over the next week — and these are high-impact storms” said Guy Walton, a forecaster with The Weather Channel. “There is a very active storm pattern across the country.”

The National Weather Service reported roughly 8 inches of snow near Frostburg, Md., while areas of southern Ohio and West Virginia were slammed by about 10 inches of the white stuff. Snow totals in Philadelphia ran the gamut from 3 to 9 inches; New York City was hit by as much as 7 inches by the early afternoon.

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NBC News

Jeff Wheeler / The Star Tribune via AP

A woman walking around Lake Harriet in Minneapolis on Sunday pauses to shoot some video of the blowing snow.

As dangerous temperatures hit much of the nation, another deep freeze is moving in, making January the coldest month so far this century. NBC’s Dylan Dreyer reports.

The Deep South is the next target for the deep freeze in a winter that won’t quit.

Forecasters warned that ice could soon coat the front porches of Charleston, S.C., and Savannah, Ga., where winter storm alerts were posted Monday for the first time in almost four years.

At the same time, the Great Lakes shivered yet again under wind chills that approached 50 degrees below zero. The University of Minnesota and schools around Chicago and Minneapolis closed for the day.

“The North is suffering winter burnout,” said Tom Niziol, a winter weather expert for The Weather Channel. “The South is going to see some weather that many parts have not seen in years.”

For the South, forecasters said the worst of it would come Tuesday — a band of dangerous ice, threatening trees and power lines, from the coast of Texas to the coast of North Carolina.

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green

Arctic Weather Bears Down On U.S. Midwest, Northeast

Reuters  |  Posted: 01/04/2014 4:02 pm EST  |  Updated: 01/23/2014 8:17 am EST

By Victoria Cavaliere

NEW YORK, Jan 4 (Reuters) – Many parts of the U.S. Midwest braced for a blast of Arctic air this weekend that could bring some of the coldest temperatures in two decades before advancing to the Northeast, where residents are still digging out from a deadly snowstorm.

Starting Sunday, the deep freeze will be felt in the northern U.S. plains, including North and South Dakota, and through the Great Lakes region and Ohio Valley, according to the National Weather Service.

It will be some of the coldest weather to grip the region in two decades, with blizzard conditions expected in the Central Plains and Great Lakes regions, forecasters said.

“The last really big Arctic outbreak was 1994,” said Bob Oravec, a forecaster with the National Weather Service. “Outbreaks like this don’t occur every day.”

In northeastern Canada, about 110,000 customers were without power due to a transformer fire on Saturday linked to heavy snow, government officials and Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro said.

The push of Arctic air could bring record low temperatures from Montana to Michigan, before moving the Northeast, where it will arrive by early Tuesday, forecasters said.

Temperatures in Chicago could drop to about minus 20 (minus 29 Celsius). Pittsburgh could see temperatures about 11 degrees below zero Fahrenheit (minus 24 Celsius) by early Tuesday.

Temperatures were forecast to fall to 30 below in parts of the north central United States early Sunday morning, and in Grand Forks, North Dakota, wind chills were expected to exceed 50 below. A high of 19 below is forecast for Sunday.

“You grin and bear it and bundle up,” said Rachel Osowski, a clerk at Hugo’s Supermarket in Grand Forks. “You have to survive and function, you can’t let the weather stop you.”

In such conditions, frostbite can set in on exposed skin within five minutes, forecasters warned.

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Eastern U.S. to Be Locked in Cold Until Start of February

By Brian K. Sullivan Jan 24, 2014 8:44 AM CT

Colder temperatures will grip the most of the eastern U.S. and Canada through the start of February, according to forecasters.

The region is expected to have readings about 8 degrees Fahrenheit (4 Celsius) below normal through Feb. 2, said Matt Rogers, president of Commodity Weather Group LLC in Bethesda, Maryland. Colder weather is forecast across the Great Lakes and Ohio Valley from today through Jan. 28, said Rogers and MDA Weather Services of Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Below-normal temperatures in the high population areas of the U.S. Northeast and Midwest boost energy demand as more people turn up their thermostats to heat homes and businesses. Natural gas is heading for its biggest weekly gain since September 2012 as frigid weather persists.

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Button up: Snowstorm over, but cold settles in

TODAY’s Al Roker and The Weather Channel managing editor Sam Champion provide a winter storm update and say temperatures are continuing to drop on the East Coast due to an “arctic express.”

Anyone living east of the Rockies can expect “reinforcing shots of cold air,” said Bob Oravec, a National Weather Service forecaster.

“We’re in a pretty persistent cold pattern right now, and the biggest break we’re going to get is on Saturday — but that’s before the next cold front comes through Monday,” Oravec said.

It’s getting pretty chilly in the Orange Room as Carson Daly presents some of the best viewer-submitted snow pictures.

Expect below zero temperatures in some parts, he warned.

Temps remained below average Wednesday, forcing folks to bundle up tight while shoveling snow. Commuters had to slog through messy roads, while flights and schools were canceled.

The snowfall ended south of Boston by 4 a.m. Wednesday, according to The Weather Channel. But in New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C, where the weather had caused havoc on the Tuesday evening commute, wind chills had plummeted well below zero.

The temperature in all three cities was between 9 and 12 degrees — with wind chills as low as minus-7 in Washington, D.C. Wind gusts across the region will get up to 33 mph, the National Weather Service reported.

That was hardly the worst of the cold. Fargo, N.D., was enduring wind chills of minus-38 on early Wednesday, and the air temperature in northern New England was -12 at mid-morning.

Andrew Kelly / Reuters

A woman sits on her cot at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport Tuesday.

As for snow, residents of the Northeast faced the prospect of digging themselves out of some heavy snowfall, the heaviest fell in Manalapan, N.J., which got 15.5 inches.  A foot fell in New York City and 13.5 inches in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

Schools across the Northeast were closed on Wednesday, although New York City had a regular school day for its 1.1 million students.

It was not only people on the ground subjected to winter misery: More than 1,400 flights coming into or out of the U.S. on Wednesday had been canceled by 11 a.m.

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The Baltimore Sun

Cold lingers as Northeast digs out from snow

1 of 76 Photos

A winter storm packing snow and Arctic cold slammed the northeastern United States on Tuesday, grounding 3,000 flights, shutting down governments and schools and making travel a potential nightmare for millions. -Reuters

A TAM airlines plane sits shrouded by snow as plows work around it at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York January 21, 2014. A winter storm packing snow and Arctic cold slammed the northeastern United States on Tuesday, grounding 3,000 flights, shutting down governments and schools and making travel a potential nightmare for millions. (REUTERS/Andrew Kelly) A TAM airlines plane sits shrouded by snow as plows work around it at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York January 21, 2014. A winter storm packing snow and Arctic cold slammed the northeastern United States on Tuesday, grounding 3,000 flights, shutting down governments and schools and making travel a potential nightmare for millions. (REUTERS/Andrew Kelly) A man runs down a street past snow covered cars in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn in New York City, January 22, 2014. The northeastern United States on Wednesday dug out from a storm that dumped over a foot of snow in many places with frigid, windy weather keeping some schools and offices closed and flights canceled. (REUTERS/Mike Segar) A man runs down a street past snow covered cars in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn in New York City, January 22, 2014. The northeastern United States on Wednesday dug out from a storm that dumped over a foot of snow in many places with frigid, windy weather keeping some schools and offices closed and flights canceled. (REUTERS/Mike Segar) A squirrel stands in the snow on the National Mall January 21, 2014 in Washington, DC. A strong winter storm is bearing down on the East Coast between Virginia and Massachusetts and could dump four to eight inches of snow on the Washington area. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

A squirrel stands in the snow on the National Mall January 21, 2014 in Washington, DC. A strong winter storm is bearing down on the East Coast between Virginia and Massachusetts and could dump four to eight inches of snow on the Washington area. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) People walk past a CitiBike stand during a snowstorm on January 21, 2014 in New York City. Areas of the Northeast are predicted to receive up to a foot of snow in what may be the biggest snowfall of the season so far. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

People walk past a CitiBike stand during a snowstorm on January 21, 2014 in New York City. Areas of the Northeast are predicted to receive up to a foot of snow in what may be the biggest snowfall of the season so far. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images) A snow blower clears a path on a pedestrian walk way during a snow storm in New York, January 22, 2014. In New York, a storm alert was issue for noon (1700 GMT) Tuesday to 6:00 am (1100 GMT) Wednesday with as much as a foot (30 centimeters) forecast for the metropolitan region. (Emmanuel Duand/AFP/Getty Images)

A snow blower clears a path on a pedestrian walk way during a snow storm in New York, January 22, 2014. In New York, a storm alert was issue for noon (1700 GMT) Tuesday to 6:00 am (1100 GMT) Wednesday with as much as a foot (30 centimeters) forecast for the metropolitan region. (Emmanuel Duand/AFP/Getty Images)

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NBC News

 

Dylan Dreyer / NBC News

Snow falls in Sandy Creek, N.Y., Friday morning.

There’s a travel mess ahead from the Midwest to New England where some areas will see up to eight inches of snow. Meteorologist Janice Huff reports.

The Northeast braced Friday for a fierce winter storm that threatened to dump a foot of snow on some places and coat New York and Boston over the weekend with their biggest accumulations of the season.

Lake-effect snow whipped Buffalo and Rochester, N.Y., and Erie, Pa., on Friday morning, and 5 to 8 inches of snow was expected to fall on parts of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio from Friday evening into Saturday. Indianapolis was expected to get as much as 5 inches.

Freezing rain and sleet were expected to cause problems Friday in Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri and Illinois, slickening bridges and overpasses.

 

The National Weather Service called the whole thing a “complex storm system” stretching from Missouri to the northern tip of New York.

 

Full coverage from weather.com


Snow falls in Sandy Creek, N.Y., Friday morning.

Metro-North, the commuter railroad that serves New York, its suburbs, Connecticut and Long Island, warned customers that it might reduce or stop service depending on the weather.

Pennsylvania pushed two state high school football championship games back by a day, to Sunday from Saturday. And Matthew Brelis, a spokesman for Logan airport, in Boston, told The Associated Press: “At some point, we’ll start calling in more staff.”

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Earth Watch Report  –  Extreme Weather

nn_01rm_snowstorm_130207.vembedlarge456

Snow and hurricane-force winds are slated to hit the Northeast this weekend. Residents in the tri-state area are scrambling to get ready after last year’s unusually dry and mild winter. NBC’s Ron Mott reports.

By Erin McClam, Staff Writer, NBC News

Updated at 3:07 a.m. ET: A crippling and potentially historic winter storm barreled toward the Northeast on Thursday, threatening tens of millions of people with 2 feet of snow. Boston canceled school and braced for one of its worst blizzards of all time.

Airlines encouraged fliers to change their plans and get out of the way. There were already delays of more than two hours at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, where tangles can snarl air traffic across the country. More than 2500 flights had been cancelled by early Friday, according to flightstats.com.

The culprits were a so-called clipper system moving through the Upper Midwest and a low-pressure system headed for the waters off New England. When they converge, probably late Friday, they are expected to sock the region with its heaviest snow in at least two years, and perhaps much longer.

“When this hits, it’s going to come down very hard,” said Tom Niziol, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel. “This is something we haven’t seen in a while, particularly in New England.”

The National Weather Service put the New York City area and Long Island under a blizzard warning and said those areas could get more than a foot of snow. Earlier in the day, the weather service warned that travel in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island could become nearly impossible.

 

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Environmental  –  Holistic Health

Got (organic) milk?

 

In recent years, advertising for milk and milk products has been seen everywhere in mainstream America. Not only do we have our doctors telling us to drink more milk, but we also have celebrities endorsing the product. Of course milk does the body good, but do some types of milk do better than others? What about milk’s impact on the environment? To analyze these questions, researchers need to study the types of farms from where the milk originates.

As with the case for most farms, large-scale farm businesses have been taking over smaller, local farms causing tons of pasture-based dairies to disappear from the landscape. Even though the demand for organic milk and dairy products is on the rise (raking in at least $750 million annually), most of our country’s milk is coming from cows confined in animal feeding operations known as CAFOs. Not only do CAFOs make a less nutritious milk product, but they also pollute our air, water, and soil and reduce the effectiveness of antibiotics in humans.

According to the Union of Concerned Scientists’ new report “Cream of the Crop: The Economic Benefits of Organic Dairy Farms,” promoting healthier products while simultaneously supporting rural economic development and meeting the demand for organic milk, should be a national priority.

This report is the first to calculate the economic value associated with organic dairy farming and it reveals the potential for the sector to create opportunities and jobs in rural economies. The report compares the economic impacts of organic and conventional milk production in two major dairy states, Vermont and Minnesota. The report found that increased sales from organic dairy farms in these states lead to greater economic impacts in those states when compared with the results of an equivalent level of sales from conventional dairy farms. Researchers also conducted case studies in broader regions namely the Northeast and the Upper Midwest in order to assess how the economic impacts of small pasture-based farms vary by region.

Besides the economic benefit of organic dairy farms, the product is also a healthier option. Because organic milk comes from cows that graze in pastures, eat organically grown feed, and are not treated with hormones or antibiotics, organic milk is deemed more natural and therefore healthier.

Significant improvements are needed in federal policies so organic dairy farmers can operate their farms more effectively and compete in the market. The report also suggests that regulations for CAFOs must become more stringent and federal dairy programs need to fund important research programs that could improve the efficiency of pasture-based systems.

For more information see the full report “Cream of the Crop”

Milk image via Shutterstock.