Storm Blankets Northeast With A Few Inches Of Snow

By Salon Staff

Published January 21, 2012 2:54PM (EST)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A weekend storm blanketed the Northeast with a few inches of snow Saturday, creating slippery conditions and some delays at airports, though the storm was expected to move out to sea overnight.

The National Weather Service predicted 4 to 6 inches in New York City before the snow stops in the afternoon. Early Saturday morning flurries and freezing rain showers were expected for the Washington area. Philadelphia is under a winter weather advisory and could receive up to 4 inches of snow.

Flights arriving at Philadelphia Airport were delayed up to two hours because of snow and ice accumulation, but most departing flights were leaving on time, a spokeswoman said.

The storm marked the second significant snowfall of the season for some East Coast residents, including in New York City and Philadelphia. A rare October snowstorm knocked out power to nearly 3 million homes and businesses in the Northeast.

Road conditions were fair Saturday morning throughout the region, officials said. Crews in Pennsylvania and New Jersey began salting roads around midnight and plowing soon after. By midmorning, the snow had turned to sleet in Philadelphia north through central New Jersey.

Few accidents were reported on the roads, helped by the weekend's lack of rush hour traffic, but New Jersey transportation spokesman Joe Dee cautioned drivers to build in more time for trips. Though temperatures will warm up this afternoon he said, forecasters expect the wet ground to freeze again overnight.

New York City had 1,500 snow plows at the ready, each equipped with global positioning systems that will allow supervisors to see their approximate location on command maps updated every 30 seconds, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a morning news conference.

The equipment was installed last year following a disaster of a storm that struck the day after Christmas of 2010, when even the city's plows were stuck and stranded in drifts, and streets remained impassable for days. Bloomberg said the GPS system has already led to "vastly improved communication" between supervisors and plow operators.

As always, some welcomed the snow.

Enough accumulated through the week for snowmobiling and ice fishing in New Hampshire, where cross-country ski trails and snowshoeing were open at Bretton Woods and other trails.

Salon Staff

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