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Another Winter Storm Moving Across NY And New England

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An already busy winter weather season continues in New York and New England.

A winter storm warning is in effect as up to a foot of snow is expected through Friday morning for the Capital Region, Vermont and western Massachusetts. Luigi Meccariello is a meteorologist in the National Weather Service’s Albany office.

“There is definitely heavier snow in the immediate Capital Region,” Meccariello said. “It’s supposed to linger. The heaviest should be approaching as we get into the afternoon and evening hours as the storm continues to progress from west to east across the area. As we go into the overnight and Friday morning that’s when it is will begin to taper down.”

Meccariello says two different weather systems are interacting to bring the white stuff and in some places subzero temperatures.

“There are two different low-pressure systems that are going to interact together,” he explained. “What’s concerning for us is the one moving across near Pennsylvania. It’s going to move south of the area and that’s the one that’s going to affect us the most. There’s a coastal low-pressure system off the coast of New England, but that’s going to affect the coastal area more.

Parts of New York and Vermont are coming off an ice storm that saw thousands lose power for days. Meccariello says the frigid temperatures may prevent the lights from going off again.

“There is no heavy, wet snow it’s going to be a light, powdery snow so we don’t expect many power outages,” he said. “Maybe an isolated power outage if snow and wind together are a heavy event for a period of time.”

Massachusetts DOT is reporting the speed limit on Interstate 90 has dropped to 40 miles an hour from the New York State line to Interchange 15 in Weston. Of the roughly 4,000 pieces of equipment it can call on, the DOT has nearly 1,500 crews clearing roads across the state and expects that number to increase as the storm moves east across the state. DOT spokesman Mike Veseckes says there are about 73 plows operating in Berkshire County. He adds the low temperatures force the road crews to work even harder.

“As the temperature declines it reduces the effectiveness of salt and deicing agents so we have to intensify our efforts at plowing itself,” explained Veseckes.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has activated the state’s Emergency Operations Center to combat the storm and has advised people to refrain from unnecessary travel and instead seek public transportation through Friday. Towns and cities in the region have declared snow emergencies and issued travel advisories, while schools and community groups have canceled classes. Flights are being canceled and delayed at Albany International Airport, while some planes continue to be on schedule. Mark Germanowski is the manger of the Pittsfield Municipal Airport. Two planes have already landed at the airport today, but he says snow can disrupt flights even if runways are clear.

“When any aircraft is approaching an airport, they have to, at some level above ground, break out of the clouds and see the runway to be able to land,” Germanowski said. “So sometimes it’s snowing so hard they don’t have the ability to see the runway. So whether we have it plowed or not, they might not be able to get in because of visibility restrictions.”

Meccariello says to be well-prepared if you have to hit the roadways.

“Definitely bundle up,” Meccariello said. “First thing is to make sure you are warm and have the necessary precautions if traveling on snow-covered roadways. If someone’s vehicle were to get stuck perhaps make sure you have extra supplies that you carry with you. Just travel very slowly if you have to be on the roads at all today or tomorrow.”

Snow is expected to taper off late Friday morning in Pittsfield as the storm moves east through Springfield and toward the New England coast.

Jim is WAMC’s Assistant News Director and hosts WAMC's flagship news programs: Midday Magazine, Northeast Report and Northeast Report Late Edition. Email: jlevulis@wamc.org
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