April storm brings heavy snow and rain to northeast

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A spring storm dumped snow in central Pennsylvania and central New York state on Monday, leading to power outages and the possibility of muddy roads overnight.

A National Weather Service winter storm warning is in effect for northern Pennsylvania and central and northern New York counties through noon Tuesday. Heavy, wet snow could bring down power lines, the service said, and travel could be “very difficult.” Roads in parts of Pennsylvania were impassable Monday evening.

Parts of south-central Pennsylvania received up to 8 inches of snowfall, while central parts of the state saw about 2 inches, said Weather Service meteorologist Brian Hurley.

Mr. Hurley said the highest regions of New York State, such as the Adirondacks and Catskills, which are sparsely populated, could receive the highest snowfalls of up to a foot. Syracuse, NY, could get 2-5 inches and Ithaca about 7 inches overnight, he added.

“It’s very, very impactful, and it could cause power outages and road closures,” Mr Hurley said.

In New York state, more than 14,000 customers had lost power as of Monday night, according to PowerOutage.us, which aggregates data from utilities across the United States. National Grid and Con Edison, two power companies in the state, said crews were mobilized to respond to forecast outages overnight.

Jared Paventi, a National Grid spokesman, said late Monday that high winds caused a circuit breaker to fail, resulting in the loss of power to 8,000 customers from Saratoga Springs to Glens Falls. He added that power would be restored at midnight or early Tuesday morning in those areas.

The mix of rain and snow should turn to snow in many areas before easing Tuesday morning, forecasters said.

Natalie Walters, 54, of Syracuse, said she was walking near her lilies and hydrangeas with her dog Homer on Monday afternoon, hoping the snow wouldn’t damage the buds. Still, she said, snowfall would mean a welcome delayed start to classes Tuesday at Syracuse Elementary School where she works as a teacher. But it would also mean less time to complete the program before the end of the school year.

“My humorous side is like: 111,” said Mrs. Walters, convinced that she wouldn’t need the snow shovel she had already stored away until next winter.

Monday night, she was leaning towards wanting snow. That way, Ms Walters said, she wouldn’t be standing outside in the rain on Tuesday morning, welcoming first-graders as they got off the bus.

New York City will be spared the snowfall, but the rain it saw Monday night is expected to persist overnight, with winds gusting up to 40 miles per hour, forecasts say.

Mr. Hurley of the Weather Service said up to six inches of snow was recorded in western Maryland and parts of northern West Virginia received 3 to 5 inches.

Robert Deal, a meteorologist with the Binghamton, NY Weather Service, said Monday that the snow will be “more like cement and paste than dry, fluffy stuff” and that in some areas it could fall at a rate of one to three inches per hour.

Snow “can quickly overwhelm the ability to process roads, and it will also start to accumulate quickly,” Mr Deal said.

The state Department of Transportation said the Twitter that speed limits had been reduced on several roads across the state due to weather conditions. On Monday afternoon, the department had already reported several accidents involving several vehicles on Twitter.

In New York state, which was expected to bear the brunt of the storm, snowfall of up to 11 inches is possible in some northern counties, according to the National Weather Service. Areas at higher elevations are more likely to have higher snowfall totals, while urban areas at lower elevations will see less, Deal said.

“I wouldn’t consider this a normal snowfall,” Deal said, noting his timing nearly a month into spring. “It certainly hits the high end of the totals.”

Dan Thompson, a meteorologist for the Albany Weather Service, said towns like Troy, Albany and Saratoga Springs would receive light dusting of up to two inches in some places.

Forecasters said the heavy snowfall and the speed at which the snow is falling could create the potential for power outages in some areas.

“We’re looking at things and increasingly concerned about the impacts of power outages, with snow happening this, sort of, late in the season,” Mr Deal said. “It does look like we could see lots of snow piling up on trees and power lines, and potentially seeing lots of power outages in higher elevation areas.”

In northwestern Massachusetts, the storm was expected to bring widespread rain and sleet late Monday night through Tuesday.

“It’s not going to be a winter storm for us,” said Alan Dunham, meteorologist with the Boston Weather Service.

Lily Chapman, a meteorologist for the Binghamton Weather Service, said snowstorms were not uncommon in April, but added that people in the northeast might not have an appetite for snow in the spring.

“After having such a nice time, I think people are probably not really in the mood at this point or ready to deal with it,” Ms Chapman said. “Just be prepared for maybe shoveling and a sloppy ride, maybe.”

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