A major winter storm is moving from the upper Midwest into the Northeast, causing significant travel impacts and the possibility of power disruptions.
On Tuesday morning, the leading edge of the storm hit New York City, where two to four inches of snow are forecast before the storm turns into a messy mix of ice and rain around midday.
‘The potential exists for 6 to 12 inches of snow from northern Wisconsin to northern Michigan, and even higher amounts across upstate New York and northern New England with 12 to 18 inches possible,’ the National Weather Service said in a flash bulletin on Tuesday.
‘A corridor of freezing rain is likely to the south of the heavy snow axis, extending from the central Appalachians to southern New England, and also across southern Michigan.’
A woman takes photographs as snow falls in the Times Square neighborhood of New York on Tuesday morning
A runner jogs down the sidewalk as snow falls in Manhattan, where two to four inches is expected on Tuesday
Pedestrians walk down the sidewalk as snow falls in the Times Square neighborhood of New York on Tuesday
A satellite image shows the storm moving toward the East Coast as of 9.27am ET on Tuesday
This map shows the rain and snow forecast for the Midwest through the Northeast on Tuesday
Some areas in northern New England could see as much as 12 to 18 inches of snow through Wednesday morning
The agency also warned that the storm would have ‘significant travel impacts’ and that ice and wind could result in power outages through Wednesday.
Ice already hit the Chicago area hard overnight, resulting in a downed power transformer on the southwest side of the city captured in a shocking video shot by a resident.
Some 100,000 customers were without power in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois on Tuesday by midday, according to PowerOutage.US.
An icy morning as winter conditions continue to affect Chicago and the Midwest on Tuesday in Chicago
An ice storm warning was in effect through Tuesday morning in Chicago, seen above shrouded in fog
Ice coated Chicago on Tuesday morning, disrupting commutes and delaying hundreds of flights at O’Hare
Lake Michigan is seen on Tuesday morning in Chicago as a major ice storm hit the area
The storm was also causing significant disruption at major airports in the Midwest and Northeast.
By 1pm on Tuesday, nearly 2,000 flights had been cancelled across the U.S. according to FlightStats.
More than 500 flights had been cancelled at LaGuardia Airport alone, and 200 had been cancelled at John F. Kennedy Airport, and 100 at Newark Liberty Airport.
Over 250 flights have been canceled at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.
Classes were cancelled at Penn State’s University Park campus through 5pm on Tuesday, as heavy snow was expected to transition to ice through the day.
FlightAware’s Misery Map shows heavy delays and cancellations at O’Hare and the New York region on Tuesday
Maintenance person Phillip Garza blows snow in front of a group of apartments on Tuesday in Minneapolis. The latest storm is expected to dump 3 to 5 inches of snow in the Twin Cities
Morning traffic moves slowly on U.S. 441 on Tuesday in Appleton, Wisconsin as a storm covered the region
Greg Brux clears snow in the early morning on Tuesday in Kimberly, Wisconsin as a snow storm blankets the area
Morning traffic moves slowly on U.S. 441 on Tuesday in Appleton, Wisconsin as a heavy storm moves through
Ha Thao chips off frozen spikes of ice on top of his front porch Tuesday in Wausau, Wisconsin. The latest snow storm to move through the state dropped several inches of snow overnight
Footprints can be seen in the slushy snow Tuesday on Rochester Place in Hagerstown, Maryland. The Tri-State area can expect to see rain long into Tuesday night, followed by partly sunny skies and a high near 40 degrees on Wednesday
Parts of many states from the upper Midwest through New England were under winter alerts on Tuesday
Ice could create major travel disruptions and power outages for the areas shown in the map above
Heavy commuter impacts were expected as the storm hit the Northeast.
New York City Emergency Management advised New Yorkers to use public transportation wherever possible on Tuesday, warning drivers to expect slippery roads and limited visibility, and use extreme caution.
‘We are expecting wintry mix of snow, sleet, and rain that will cause messy travel conditions on Tuesday. We advise New Yorkers to take mass transit where possible, exercise caution when driving, walking, or biking, and allow for extra travel time,’ said NYC Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito
The storm has already taken a heavy toll on road travel as it moved across the country.
On Sunday near Eau Claire, Wisconsin, a massive 40-car pileup brought traffic to a halt in both directions on Interstate 94.
There were seven injuries, one of which was life threatening, officials said.
A multi-vehicle crash involving autos and semi-trucks shuts down Interstate 94 on Sunday between Osseo and Foster in Wisconsin. A series of accidents closed the highway
In Dallas County, Iowa, shocking dashcam video showed a sheriff’s deputy leaping out of the way of a car as it zoomed past emergency vehicles stopped on the side of the road, side-swiping the deputy’s cruise.
Another deputy was struck in the incident, suffering minor injuries.
The sheriff warned drivers to slow down on icy or snowy roads.
Winter alerts were in effect for parts of Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, and all of New England on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, other parts of the country were also suffering unusual winter weather.
Schools closed across Washington state and the Legislature canceled all hearings Monday with winter snowstorms pummeling the Northwest again as a larger weather system wreaked havoc in the region and even brought snow to Hawaii.
Seattle’s metro area had already been hit by three snow storms this month and the National Weather Service reports that Seattle-Tacoma International Airport has received 20.2 inches of snow so far in February, the snowiest month in more than 50 years.
The Northwest was also hit again with snow on Monday, the third storm to pummel Seattle just this month
This photo from Sunday shows ultra rare snow on the ground in Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area in Kula, Hawaii on the island of Maui. A strong storm that hit Hawaii knocked out power, brought down tree branches and flooded coastal roads
The storm that hit Seattle Sunday dumped up to 4 inches of snow. More than 6 inches of snow fell on Monday with rain and snow expected Tuesday as a lingering jet stream drives cold arctic air into the normally temperate region, and was part of a larger cycle that has also driven snow as far away as Hawaii.
While snow is not unheard of in Hawaii, officials said the blanket at Polipoli Spring State Recreation Area on the island of Maui is likely the first for any state park.
Polipoli is located at an altitude of 6,200 feet and the blanket of snow is possibly the lowest elevation sprinkling ever recorded in the state.
‘[P]erhaps [for] the first time ever, snow has fallen in a Hawaii State Park,’ Hawaii’s Department of Land and Natural Resources posted to its Facebook page Sunday. ‘Polipoli State Park on Maui is blanketed with snow. It could also be the lowest elevation snow ever recorded in the state.’
The storm, which the National Weather Service office in Honolulu described as ‘historic,’ first began pounding the islands Friday. Hawaii News Now reported a 66-year old California man died in the rough surf off northwest Maui on Friday.