Share

Winter Storm Rex Moves Swiftly Off the East Coast

February 19, 2014

After dumping heavy snow on the Midwest Monday, Winter Storm Rex moved swiftly through the Northeast and New England Tuesday, bringing another shot of snow to New York City and Boston.

Parts of New England racked up the heaviest snow totals Tuesday. In New Hampshire, 12 inches of snow were reported Tuesday night in New Boston, 11 were reported in Goffstown and Merrimack and there were 10 in Nashua and other places. In Maine, nearly 10 inches of snow fell in Kennebunk, which is on the coast, and close to 9 fell in Portland, the National Weather Service said. Snow is forecast to continue into Wednesday in Maine.

(MORE: Check the Winter Storm Rex Forecast | Live Updates)

The storm snarled travel across the region. More than 4,500 flights had been canceled within, into or out of the United States by 7:00 p.m. EST Tuesday according to the air travel monitoring website FlightAware. Adding to travelers' woes: United Airlines experienced problems with its computer system used to check in passengers, print boarding passes and get baggage tags.

By early evening, about 650 United flights and another 1,000 flights on regional affiliate United Express had arrived late or were behind schedule, according to FlightAware.com. United said that most of the delays were due to the computer glitches.

Below is a rundown of the latest news from each state affected by Rex.

Connecticut

Rex left 7 inches of snow in some areas of Connecticut, prompting school closings across the state. Many public schools were already closed for their annual winter vacation week. Many of those that were not on break closed because of the snow. Police closed Route 175 in Newington, because vehicles were unable to make it up a steep hill there. Police also closed Route 15 north in Milford between exits 55B and 56 closed because of an overturned vehicle.

(MORE: Snow, Ice, Thundersnow Reports From Winter Storm Rex)

Delaware, Maryland and Virginia

The snowfall delayed school openings in the mid-Atlantic region. A few local governments also opened their doors late. The National Weather Service has received reports of snow throughout the region.

Illinois

Authorities say no one was injured on Monday when a small business jet carrying seven people skidded off a suburban Chicago runway during heavy snow. The Chicago Sun-Times reports the plane veered off the taxiway during takeoff at the DuPage Airport. Dennis Keefe, the deputy fire chief in West Chicago, said the pilot likely became disoriented during whiteout conditions. The community that's about 30 miles from Chicago received about five inches of snow on Monday. Keefe says the plane wasn't damaged. The FAA says the plane was heading to Baltimore, and that it had five passengers and two crew members.

Chicago's two airports canceled more than 1,000 flights because of Winter Storm Rex, which dumped more than 7 inches of snow in parts of Illinois. The Illinois Department of Transportation said the storm was creating dangerous driving conditions and urged motorists to be careful. 

Indiana

A state trooper was injured Tuesday morning when a semitrailer lost control on an icy highway and crashed into his cruiser as he was stopped to help a motorist, 13 WTHR reported. Police say the semi ran into the trooper's car while it was parked on the shoulder of Interstate 865, shoving it into another stopped vehicle. Senior Trooper Charles Taylor, who was inside the vehicle, was  taken to a hospital with minor injuries. 

The National Weather Service reported 4½ inches of snow fell Monday in LaPorte, more than 3 inches in New Haven just east of Fort Wayne, and 3 inches in Columbia City. On Monday, many schools scheduled classes on the Presidents Day federal holiday to make up some of the instruction time lost earlier this winter because of weather, only to dismiss early amid forecasts of sleet and freezing rain in central Indiana. After power was lost at a mobile home park in the eastern Indiana city of Richmond, authorities opened a warming station for affected residents until the power returned. 

(MORE: These Cities Are Sick of Snow This Season)

Maine 

The snow is piling up in Maine, surpassing the typical season's total. Meteorologist Chris Legro from the National Weather Service says Portland had nearly 70 inches — more than 2 feet more than normal — before the latest batch of snow arrived Tuesday with the prospects for up to 9 or 10 inches in parts of southern Maine. The snowfall has already exceeded the season average total of nearly 62 inches. National Weather Service meteorologist Chris Legro said Portland had nearly 70 inches — more than 24 inches more than normal — before the latest batch of snow arrived Tuesday.

More snow is expected Wednesday.

Massachusetts

US Airways says there are no injuries and only minor damage after one of its jets scraped a parked deicing truck with its wing tip at Boston's Logan International Airport.

Spokesman Todd Lehmacher says the Embraer 190 aircraft was taxiing to the deicing area at the time of the 5 p.m. Tuesday incident he called "very minor." Lehmacher said there appear to be scratches on the truck and on the plane's left wing tip.

Lehmacher said Flight 740 from Boston to Philadelphia had 99 passengers and four crew members. The plane returned to the gate. He said the airline expected all the passengers could be rebooked on other Tuesday night flights.

The Federal Aviation Administration said it's investigating. An airport spokesman referred comment to the airline.

NWS reports more than 11 inches fell at Lunenburg in Worcester County.

Michigan

Authorities say a snowplow truck driven by a private contractor hit and injured a pedestrian who was walking in a western Michigan roadway because the sidewalks were snow-covered. WOOD-TV reports the man in his 20s was in stable condition Tuesday morning and talking to rescue personnel when he was transported to a hospital. Cutlerville Fire Capt. Carl Gunderson told WOOD-TV that investigators think the blade of the truck hit the victim and pushed him up against a snowbank before he rolled under the truck. He was struck in the Cutlerville area, located south of Grand Rapids in Kent County. The TV station reports the man who was struck was walking to work and wearing dark clothes. The snowplow truck driver was heading home from work.

Rex dropped record-breaking levels of snow on parts of western Michigan, leading to crashes including a roughly 40-vehicle interstate pileup and prompting some schools to close Tuesday. The Van Buren County sheriff's department said six people had injuries that weren't considered life threatening following the Monday evening pileup on the eastbound side of I-94 in Paw Paw Township, about 55 miles southwest of Grand Rapids. A semi lost control, sparking a chain-reaction crash, Sheriff Dale Gribler said.

"Poor visibility and weather conditions played a major role along with drivers driving too fast for the conditions," his office said in a statement.

According to the National Weather Service, the storm broke some decades-old daily snowfall records for Feb. 17, including 6.2 inches in Muskegon and 5.6 inches in Grand Rapids. The old records were 6 inches in Muskegon, set in 1939, and 4.7 inches in Grand Rapids, set in 1956. In southeastern Michigan, totals ranged from 2.5 to 4 inches in the Detroit area, to 5 inches in Saginaw County. The northern Lower Peninsula and the Upper Peninsula also got several inches of snow.

(MORE: Snow Causes Deadly Roof Collapse in South Korea)

New Hampshire

As of 8 p.m. EST Tuesday, 14 inches of snow had fallen in Merrimack County, while spots in Belknap, Carroll, Rockingham, Hillsborough and Strafford counties had recorded more than a food of snow. Nashua, one of New Hampshire's biggest cities, imposed a snow emergency, banning parking on streets until 5 a.m. Wednesday. Police in New Hampshire also reduced the speed limit on all highways to 45 mph.

Fire officials in Plaistow investigated deaths believed to be caused by carbon monoxide at a home, but it was unclear if the deaths were related to Tuesday's storm.

It's already been a snowy winter in New Hampshire. The state got 19.9 inches of snow in December, about 5 inches more than normal, the National Weather Service said. In January, 14.4 inches fell, below the 30-year normal of 18.1 inches. February more than made up the decrease: 20.3 inches of snow fell before Tuesday's storm, compared to a 30-year normal of 12.3 inches for the month.

New York

This season is now the seventh snowiest at New York City's Central Park. Totals from Winter Storm Rex brought the season's total to 57.1 inches. Wednesday's forecast calls for a chance of rain in the morning with gradual clearing after 3 p.m. Temperatures will reach a high of 45.

(MORE: Plane Makes Emergency Landing ... On a Frozen Lake)

Ohio

Central Ohio reported a rash of traffic accidents as drivers had a hard time coping with icy roads, WBNS-10TV reported. 

The possibility of rain later this week threaten a new round of problems with potential flooding. Temperatures are forecast near 50 degrees by Thursday. The National Weather Service says the combination of melting snow and more rain could cause significant flooding in some places. This has been one of Ohio's coldest, snowiest winters in years. All that snow and ice has left some local governments short on road salt. Many schools have used up their allotted snow days and may have to make up classes.

Pennsylvania

The weight of snow on roofs and awnings in Pennsylvania has caused several collapses.

Officials in Hatboro, Montgomery County, say one person suffered minor injuries when a home's carport caved in around 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Further north in Lehigh County near Bethlehem, police said porch roofs of three attached houses collapsed under the weight of the snow in Fountain Hill. The debris blocked the residents inside their homes but officials say no one was injured.

Elsewhere in the state, reports of barns and warehouses with collapsed roofs were reported but there were no immediate reports of injuries.

The Pennsylvania Turnpike has lifted speed restrictions for most of the system but is keeping the 45 mph limit in effect on the Northeast Extension, site of a massive pileup last week that sent 30 people to the hospital. Officials said Tuesday that the limit would remain in effect "until the weather improves." State transportation department also imposed but later lifted a 45 mph speed limit on some roads due to the winter storm. Rex brought some rare "thundersnow" — heavy snow with embedded thunder — to western Pennsylvania.

Rhode Island

Rhode Island State Police say they've assisted nearly 40 stranded motorists across the state during the latest burst of winter weather. The agency reports responding to more than 23 accidents by Tuesday afternoon. Several municipalities including Cranston, Warwick and North Providence enacted parking bans. No school closings are reported in the state. This week is February vacation for many school districts. T.F. Green Airport in Warwick reported some flight cancelations, and RIPTA was detouring some routes.

Vermont

In Vermont, 5 fell in Mount Holly and 5.5 fell in Rochester, according to the National Weather Service.

Police across Vermont are reporting numerous accidents and travel restrictions Tuesday caused by the snow that began falling earlier in the day. Drivers were cautioned about difficult conditions on Interstate 89 in Bolton and Brookfield, where snow covered the roadway.

The Vermont Transportation Agency reported a crash on U.S. Route 7 in Pittsford, which closed one lane. Vermont 9 in Searsburg was shut down or a time due to tractor trailers blocking the road, but was reopened by 4 p.m.

No injuries have been reported.

Marco Garcia, of Guatemala, shovels snow near the Statehouse in Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, in Trenton, N.J., after a quick-moving storm brought several inches of snow as well as rare 'thundersnow' to parts of the winter-weary East Coast. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report


Featured Blogs

Invest 99L Organizing Over Gulf of Mexico

By Dr. Jeff Masters
September 1, 2014

The center of a broad area of low pressure associated with tropical wave 99L is now over the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico's Bay of Campeche, and the disturbance is growing more organized as it heads west-northwest at about 10 mph. Sea Surface Temperatures (SSTs) were very warm, near 30°C (86°F), the atmosphere was moist, and wind shear was moderate, 15 - 20 knots. These conditions are favorable for development.

Death Valley ‘Sliding Rocks’ Mystery Resolved

By Christopher C. Burt
August 29, 2014

An article published in the science journal PLOS ONE on August 27th by scientists from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography has finally put to rest the mystery of the ‘sliding’ rocks of Racetrack Playa in Death Valley.

Live Blog: Tracking Hurricane Arthur as it Approaches North Carolina Coast

By Shaun Tanner
July 3, 2014

This is a live blog set up to provide the latest coverage on Hurricane Arthur as it threatens the North Carolina Coast. Check back often to see what the latest is with Arthur. The most recent updates are at the top.

Tropical Terminology

By Stu Ostro
June 30, 2014

Here is some basic, fundamental terminology related to tropical cyclones. Rather than a comprehensive and/or technical glossary, this represents the essence of the meaning & importance of some key, frequently used terms.

2013-14 - An Interesting Winter From A to Z

By Tom Niziol
May 15, 2014

It was a very interesting winter across a good part of the nation from the Rockies through the Plains to the Northeast. Let's break down the most significant winter storms on a month by month basis.

What the 5th IPCC Assessment Doesn't Include

By Angela Fritz
September 27, 2013

Melting permafrost has the potential to release an additional 1.5 trillion tons of carbon into the atmosphere, and could increase our global average temperature by 1.5°F in addition to our day-to-day human emissions. However, this effect is not included in the IPCC report issued Friday morning, which means the estimates of how Earth's climate will change are likely on the conservative side.