Extremely cold weather conditions wrapped 20 cities across the US East on February 14, 2016. Heavy snowfall and reduced visibility caused numerous traffic accidents. 3 people were reported dead and more than 70 injured. Lake-effect snow has been observed near Buffalo, New York.
-1 °C (30.2 °F) was reported in Central Park, New York on February 14, breaking an old record of 2 °C (35.6 °F), set during the World War I. -9 °C (15.8 °F) was recorded in Boston. Strong winds in states from northern Pennsylvania to Maine made the low temperatures feel even colder, media reports.
A heavy lake-effect snow, resulting from a cold air mass across the Great Lake, has been reported to push inland, in particular near Buffalo, New York. The weather phenomenon occurs when the moisture from warmer lake waters mixes with the cold air, and it can result in over 5-7.6 cm (2-3 inches) of snow precipitation in only one hour.
“Depending on where you are, if you’re just south or north of this lake effect, it can look like a wall of snow is coming down,” Chad Myers, the CNN meteorologist explained.
Heavy snowfall and low visibility conditions caused a major pileup near Fredericksburg, Pennsylvania on February 13. At least 3 people died and over 70 reported injuries, according to Pennsylvania State Police.
“It was definitely a whiteout. I couldn’t see any farther than probably two city blocks,” Raoul Jardine of Allentown stated.
About 40 vehicles were involved in a series of crashes in a part of Interstate 65, Indiana, on February 14. Luckily, no fatal injuries were reported.
“The roadways throughout Central Indiana are snow covered and hazardous. Only travel if necessary, reduce your speed significantly and allow ample space between you and the vehicle in front of you,” state police stated.
The cold weather, snow and freezing rain, are set to continue over the next couple of days, and over 75 million people from the Midwest to the Eastern Seaboard will be affected by February 16.
Bill de Blasio, New York City Mayor has advised the locals to remain cautious and alert: “The city is facing some of the coldest temperatures and wind chills we’ve seen in the last 20 years. Extremely cold weather can be life-threatening – especially for seniors, infants and people with medical conditions.”
Another storm system has been forecast to affect the Southeast on February 15, and move toward the Northeast by February 16. The largest amounts of snow are expected from Tennessee to the inner parts of Northeast. The eastern Great Lakes and higher parts of the Appalachians will be affected the most.
The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a warning concerning the symptoms and dangers of exposure to the cold weather.
Featured image: Lake effect snow, Buffalo, New York, February 13, 2016. Image credit: @NEWeatherWx