United States cities dig in as monster winter snow storm Stella unleashes fury

Patrick Ford from South Chatham braved the snow in the early afternoon last Friday

A massive winter weather system has hit much of the Northeast as New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania declare states of emergency. But Tuesday morning, as an icy mix of sleet and snow swept across the five boroughs, the local impact of what's been dubbed Winter Storm Stella was downgraded by the Weather Service to a likely accumulation of four to eight inches, vs. the 18 to 20 inches that had been predicted.

The National Weather Service (NWS) issued a 24-hour blizzard warning from midnight Monday for a region stretching north into CT and south into New Jersey that includes New York City.

Storm warnings were also posted from southern ME to Virginia.

After announcing that snow could reach record levels in the city, NWS meteorologists in NY and other Northeast cities held a conference call Monday afternoon about computer models that dramatically cut predicted totals. More snow still was expected Wednesday in the Hudson Valley.

As the storm closed in, the National Weather Service used terms like "life-threatening" and urged people to "shelter in place", language that has come to be associated with mass shootings.

One popular meme on social media was a clip of actor Marlon Brando in his famous cry of "Stella!" from the steamy 1951 film A Streetcar Named Desire. A similar warning is in place through midnight in CT and parts of northeast New Jersey.

The storm is expected to drop as much as two feet of snow in some areas.




Trump, facing the first major weather event of his presidency after a mild winter, said he had spoken to Homeland Security and that the Federal Emergency Management Agency was ready to provide assistance. "Let's hope it's not going to be as bad as some people are predicting".

There, residents of West Winfield have about 42 inches of snow to dig out of. New York City said its anticipated removal costs surpass $35 million.

The United Nations headquarters closed for the day, as did the courts and a string of popular museums, some of the most-visited tourist attractions in the city.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf said approximately 700 National Guard members would be deployed, along with more than 2,000 snow plows to try to keep up with the storm, which was expected to bring a foot or more of snow to some parts of the state.

"We're expecting it to be the worst snow of the season", NWS meteorologist Melissa Di Spigna said, following winter temperatures "well above normal" this year. According to the Guardian, the storm led to power outages for over about 100,000 customers in the Northeast.

"All the forecasts said the storm would hit New York City and Long Island the heaviest, although it would affect the entire state".

Amtrak on Tuesday announced a modified schedule to handle after-effects of the storm for Wednesday, which includes resumption of New York City service between both Boston and Washington, D.C. Transit services in New York and New Jersey announced similar modified schedules.

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