Winds, snow cause power outages in U.S. Northeast

Feb. 15, 2014 at 11:51 PM
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BOSTON, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Parts of New England got socked Saturday by more snow and high winds that knocked out power to thousands, officials said.

The Boston Globe reported more than 5,700 households lost power in Plymouth and Sandwich in Massachusetts. The storm, packing winds reaching over 60 mph, kept more than 100 flights grounded at Logan International Airport, the newspaper said.

Two days after a nor'easter struck the state, communities south of Boston were to get 8-12 inches, with 12-18 expected in Plymouth County, the Globe said.

Gov. Deval Patrick urged people in eastern Massachusetts to stay off the roads between 5 p.m. and 5 a.m.

"It really isn't possible for us to keep the roads clear and safe given the rate of snowfall," Patrick said. "For those who have to be on the roads, please keep your distance from plows. This is something the State Police have pointed out as a problem in our recent storms. It is a hazard."

The mid-Atlantic region of the United States got new rain and snow Saturday.

The storm was to bring several inches of fresh snow to the Washington and New York areas, and all the way up to Maine and the Canadian Maritimes.

Saturday's snow also was forecast to again affect highways in Pennsylvania, Accuweather said. Snow earlier in the week made a mess of the roads in the state, and treacherous driving is expected to be the rule Saturday from Philadelphia and Pittsburgh to New York.

Residents and emergency crews to the south should get a bit of a break this weekend from the winter weather that included a crippling ice storm in Georgia and the Carolinas.

The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory for the Atlanta area Saturday, but high temperatures in the 40s were expected to melt away ice on roads, trees and power lines. Georgia Electric told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Friday nearly 130,000 customers statewide were still without electricity. Most of the outages were in the Augusta and Milledgeville areas.

The ferocity of the weather in the eastern United States this winter is blamed on a stubborn "long-wave" pattern to the jet stream, which continues to steer precipitation to the north of drought-bound California, sending it into frigid northern Canada before it dives south into the Midwest and Southeastern United States.

The phenomenon has created a long, wet winter for Great Britain and almost balmy conditions at the Winter Olympics in Russia.

Researchers told CNN a unique feature of this winter's jet stream profile is that the air stream is moving more slowly than usual, resulting in storms hanging around longer in a particular area, which translates to heavier accumulations of snow and rain.

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