BOSTON - A powerful nor’easter blasted parts of the Eastern Seaboard this weekend, bringing snow, wind and freezing rain to the region for the first time in 2024, and concerns are growing that plunging temperatures could lead to a dangerous flash freeze.
Heavy snow was reported from the Northeast to New England, with several communities reporting more than a foot of snow that slowed travel as millions of Americans were faced with the messy winter weather.
And for some, it was the first significant snowfall in about a year.
A digger plows snow in Closter, New Jersey on January 6, 2024. Forecasters warned on January 5 that a deluge of snow and wintery conditions could bring travel chaos to the US northeast this weekend, with some 25 million people subject to a storm warning. (Photo by Kena Betancur / AFP) (Photo by KENA BETANCUR/AFP via Getty Images)
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was one of the communities that ended its snowless streak of nearly a year, as its last significant snowfall was on Jan. 25, 2023.
"I’m thrilled (about the snow)," said Chris Reese, owner of Cannon Coffee in Hagerstown, Maryland. "My children are very young, and I feel like my youngest hasn’t even experienced a real snow in the past couple of years. And growing up here, we had massive snowstorms. And I remember jumping off the first-floor roof of my kitchen into this giant mound of snow. And I’m excited for my kids to experience a decent snow this year."
This means that without officially reaching an inch of snowfall, record snowless streaks will continue for most major cities from New York City southward along the Interstate 95 corridor.
It was a different story farther north, however.
The Connecticut Department of Transportation (CTDOT) said it had crews out in full force across the state working to clear snow and ice from roads and highways.
"We have more than 600 #CTDOT trucks out across #Connecticut and we won’t stop until the job is done," CTDOT said on X, formerly Twitter. "When you see us working, give us plenty of space and #DontCrowdThePlow."
Snow totals varied widely in Connecticut as of Sunday morning, with Norfolk in the northwestern part of the state picking up a foot and communities closer to Long Island Sound receiving only a few inches.
The Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MASSDOT) was also working hard to keep highways and roads clear of snow and ice, but crashes have been reported.
Interstate 90 (Massachusetts Turnpike) was closed for about an hour on Sunday morning due to a jackknifed tractor-trailer in the town of Charlton, close to the interchange with Interstate 84.
Traffic had been detoured off the highway while crews worked to remove the crash, and the road was reopened around 6:30 a.m. EST.
MASSDOT said all highway districts in Massachusetts activated their storm desks and were in snow and ice operations because of the nor’easter.
As of 6 a.m. EST Sunday, MASSDOT said it had 2,174 pieces of equipment deployed statewide.
Nor’easter snow totals
Top snow totals so far on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024.(FOX Weather)
Many communities reported more than a foot of snow, with the highest totals coming from New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut.
Platekill, New York, saw the highest snow total so far, with 14.6 inches of snow as of Sunday morning. Milton, New York, reported 14 inches.
High snow totals were also reported in Massachusetts, with West Springfield picking up about 7 inches of snow.
Lower snow totals were reported in the Boston area, with the city of Milton picking up just under 5 inches of snow.
Those totals are expected to rise a bit as the nor’easter continues its assault on the region on Sunday. This is especially true for Boston and points north in New England.
"As we get into Sunday, a second little piece of energy comes into this system, and you’ll see how the winds will be shifting Sunday during the daytime into more of a northeasterly track," FOX Weather Winter Storm Specialist Tom Niziol said. "When it does that, the colder air out of northern New England slides southward, and we are going to get hit with a burst of snow Sunday afternoon in that area. That is going to be significant."
New England braces for flash freeze
A flash freeze is expected in New England on Sunday, Jan 7, 2024. (FOX Weather)
The National Weather Service office in Boston said temperatures are expected to fall during the day and into the evening hours in New England, which is expected to lead to a flash freeze.
"Any slush will freeze, causing slippery travel this afternoon and evening," the NWS said on X.
Additional snow totals possible in the Northeast and New England through Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024.(FOX Weather)
Millions of people remain under winter weather alerts in the Northeast and New England.
Southern and northern New England remain under Winter Weather Advisories through Sunday, but a majority of the region remains under a Winter Storm Warning.
Winter weather alerts in effect in the Northeast and New England through Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024.(FOX Weather)