Northern US braces for weekend storms as heavy rain causes major delays at New York airports
Northern US braces for weekend storms as heavy rain causes major delays at New York airports

A powerful weather system pummeled the tri-state area with heavy rain and strong winds Saturday as a fast-moving storm blanketed northern New England with snow.

A flood watch went into effect Saturday morning for the New York metro area through central and southern New Jersey. The storm could dump up to 4 inches of rain on parts of the region.

The heaviest rainfall is expected in the afternoon and early evening, with light flooding possible in low-lying areas such as roads and yards.

Isolated flooding late Saturday and into Sunday is also expected.

The New York area is also under a wind advisory, with winds expected to reach 25 mph throughout the day, according to the National Weather Service.

The weather agency warned that winds of that speed could cause flying debris, power outages and launch unsecured objects into the air.

Even stronger wind gusts of 45-50 km/h are expected.

Weather conditions are causing major delays at New York airports. Arrivals at John F. Kennedy International Airport were delayed an average of three hours as of 5 p.m. EDT, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. La Guardia Airport also has delays in arriving and departing flights.

Philadelphia has already broken a daily rainfall record and is experiencing its wettest March day since 1872, with 3.06 inches of rain, according to the National Weather Service.

Elsewhere, a fast-moving storm is dumping snow in parts of northern New England. More than 30 million people from the northern Rockies and Upper Midwest through the central Great Lakes to New England are under winter warnings.

Light to moderate snow is expected for the upper Midwest to the Great Lakes, where 2 to 7 inches will fall. Northern New England is expected to get 12 to 18 inches of snow.

The Maine Emergency Management Agency said the storm could bring the heaviest snowfall of the season and urged drivers to use caution.

“Mixed precipitation in some areas will lead to particularly hazardous travel conditions,” the agency said in a post on x. “Check your local forecast for conditions.”

In the Twin Cities area, the storm could bring more than 12 inches. Combined with 2.9 inches of accumulation from a “teaser” snowstorm Thursday night and Friday morning, snow totals could exceed the 14.3 inches that fell the previous season.

As the weather begins to deteriorate in New York, more than 80,000 power outages have been reported across the state, with most concentrated near Albany, Gov. Kathy Hochul said in a statement Saturday night.

“State emergency response officials are in constant contact with affected counties and utility companies, particularly National Grid, who have informed us that most outages will be restored later this evening,” Hochul said.

She urged New Yorkers to “stay off the roads, don’t crowd the plow and avoid downed power lines.”

Meanwhile, a storm behind it hit the California coast as it moved east, bringing ½ inch to 1 inch of rain to the Bay Area. More than 6 inches of snow was also recorded in the Sierra Nevada mountain range, with Heavenly Lake Tahoe Resort reporting 10 inches of fresh powder Saturday morning.

In Oxnard, a coastal city northwest of Los Angeles, a reading of 0.59 inches of rain set the modern record for rain recorded on that date. So did Lancaster, a high desert city in Los Angeles County that measured 0.53 inches of rain.

Orange and San Diego counties posted mostly smaller parts of an inch of rain by the time the bulk of the storm passed Saturday night.

The same front was moving east and was forecast to bring “heavy snow and strong winds, as well as possible blizzard conditions to the Northern Plains and Upper Midwest by Tuesday morning,” the National Weather Service said in a forecast discussion.

From Kansas to Texas, the storm could produce severe thunderstorms Sunday, the weather service said.

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