It’s The Northeast’s Turn: Winter Storm Goliath Pounds Snow-Starved Northern Cities

A white Christmas came late this year in the Northeast, as Winter Storm Goliath continued its destructive path across the U.S. and finally struck snow-starved northern cities.

On Tuesday, much of the Northeast will be pummeled with snow and sleet, from New York City to Burlington, Vermont, to Maine. The winter storm is the same system blamed for tornadoes, blizzards, ice, and heavy rain in the Midwest over the past week, killing 43 people, NBC News reported.

Even as the winter storm moves into the Northeast, flood warnings and flash flood watches still abound from the Plains to the Carolinas. The historic winter storm ravaged the Southwest and Southern Plains this weekend, the Weather Channel recounted. Texas and New Mexico (which saw three feet of powder and drifts up to 10 feet high) experienced blizzards before Goliath moved on to the Midwest and caused headaches for travelers, cancelling hundreds of flights in Chicago.

By week’s end, the Mississippi River could be inundated with historic flooding as well, USA Today added.

“The good news is that New Years’ should be a lot quieter,” said Weather Channel lead forecaster Kevin Roth. “The Midwest is calming down and there is still plenty of snow around but by the time we get to Tuesday evening the storm should be finally pulling away.”

And now, it’s the Northeast’s turn to suffer the wrath of this massive winter storm.

Thanks to Goliath and its sinking temperatures, the white stuff and a nasty mix of freezing rain and sleet is falling across Northeastern states that have been mostly green this December, but it is concentrated in upstate New York, Maine, and Vermont. The Northern and Central Plains and Great Lakes will also be hit, but Maine will be pummeled the hardest, with up to two inches per hour.

In much of the Northeast, the white stuff fell overnight with a mixing of ice, but this is expected to taper off in some cases to rain, which will persist in New York City, at least, through Thursday.

The effect of this rather late winter storm is widespread chaos in the Northeast. Nine hundred flights have been cancelled, commutes in the Northeast have been hampered by snow and ice, and crashes and traffic jams have been rampant across New York in particular. The state’s transportation department has warned drivers to be careful and not to tailgate.

The Weather Channel provided a state-by-state breakdown of how Winter Storm Goliath is wreaking havoc across the country. In New York, the interstate outside Albany was closed due to a crash between a tractor-trailer and a minivan, which occurred during a spate of snow and ice. About 5,000 homes in two counties were without power.

In Massachusetts, the governor called the winter storm a tier 1 (pretty mild, in other words), but it’s been blamed for several accidents. Over in Connecticut, the state was ravaged by several minor, weather-related collisions, and a scattering of power outages were reported.

Moving further west into Illinois, the northern part of the state was snowy and icy on Monday, and in Chicago, led to the cancellation of hundreds of flights. Residents were prepared for power outages thanks to a forecast of thick ice and strong winds.

And in Michigan, Tuesday morning was darker than usual for 63,000 people. They greeted the day without power, caused by heavy snow, freezing rain, and strong winds. In parts of the state, wind gusts reached 60 mph and inch count rose to 10 by Monday night and Tuesday morning. Wisconsin was in a similar state, with 11 inches reported in Green Bay.

People saddened by a green and unusually warm Christmas, and ailing ski resorts, may be sorry that they wished for snow.

[Photo By Mike Groll/AP]