Published on : Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Winter Storm Stella’s main event is underway as blizzard warnings cover parts of eight states in the Northeast, including New York City. Stella will hammer the region through Tuesday with more than a foot of snow and strong winds, leading to major travel disruptions at airports and on roadways.
Meteorologists were predicting snowfall totals as high as 20in (50cm) in New York City from the storm’s start late on Monday through to Tuesday evening. The National Weather Service warned that blizzard conditions of wind gusts over 35mph (56kph) and low visibility would extend from the Philadelphia area to Maine.
More than 1,100 flights scheduled for Tuesday have already been scrapped, with a majority of those cancellations coming at Baltimore/Washington International Airport. BWI has also canceled nearly 50 flights scheduled for Wednesday.
Cancellations are beginning to pile up at airports in Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, New York and Boston as well.
The majority of Monday’s cancellations have occurred in Chicago, where O’Hare International Airport has canceled more than 400 flights and Chicago Midway International Airport has canceled more than 160.
In addition to snarling air travel across the region, Stella could make driving extremely dangerous, with some roads likely to become impassable as blizzard conditions develop. The combination of strong winds and heavy snow could also prompt power outages in some areas.
Amtrak said that service alerts would be posted on its website and encouraged customers to stay updated on their train status.
Farther south in the nation’s capital, where the National Cherry Blossom Festival is scheduled to start Wednesday, snow accumulations of 6 to 8in were expected. The beloved blossoms have already been hurt by fluctuating temperatures, and National Park Service officials say if low temperatures reach 24 degrees, it could kill up to 90 percent of the cherry blossoms.